Opinion 91-61

April 25, 1991

NOTE: The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct were amended in 1996. Please see new Rule 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) (a judge may accept an unadvertised award ancillary to a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising event). Please also see Opinion 04-141 (a judge may introduce and present an award to an honoree at a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising dinner, provided that the judge’s presence and role as the presenter of the award are unadvertised).


Digest:         A judge cannot receive an award or serve as an honoree at a brunch held by a charitable foundation as the brunch has a fundraising aspect.


Rules:          22 NYCRR §100.5(b)(2)


         A judge inquires as to the propriety of receiving an award at the brunch held by a foundation for medical research, where the primary purpose of the brunch is to advance public awareness of the foundation. The proceeds from the ticket sales in excess of the cost of the brunch will be applied toward the foundation’s medical research.

         Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Chief Administrator’s Rules provides:


No judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such an organization, provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds. No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at any organization’s fund raising events, but he or she may attend such events.

         The rule clearly proscribes the judge from receiving an award or serving as an honoree at the brunch because of its fundraising aspects. The judge is directed to Opinions 88-09 and 88-13 (Volume 1), in which this Committee stated that judges may receive awards only at non-fundraising meetings or functions.