October 31, 1991
Digest: A judge may not attend an appreciation luncheon held by relatives of murder victims over whose trial the judge presided.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.2(a).
A judge has received an invitation from the daughter of two murder victims to attend a luncheon to thank friends and neighbors for their love and support. The judge presided over the trial, held over a year ago.
Section 100.2(a) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator requires judges to conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.” Here, attending a luncheon given by relatives of murder victims, involves an appearance of impropriety, especially as the invitation explicitly states that it is an “appreciation” luncheon “in your honor” and thanking the invited guests for “your love and support.” Accordingly, the judge must decline the invitation.