June 13, 1991
Digest: Judges, and a law firm whose name includes a part-time judge’s name, may not be listed on a bar association letter used to solicit funds but may be listed on non-fundraising letters.
Rules: 22NYCRR §100.5(b)(2); 22 NYCRR §100.4(c).
A part-time judge who is a lawyer, and a full-time judge, request an opinion whether the full-time or part-time judge may be listed as a founder of a bar foundation on bar association letters used for fundraising and on non-fundraising letters. The judges also ask whether a law firm, whose name includes the part-time judge’s name, may be listed on bar association letters for fundraising and non-fundraising activities.
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator 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....
Even in an organization devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice where the judge may assist in raising funds, he or she may not personally participate in public fundraising activities (22 NYCRR §100.4[c]).
Accordingly, neither judge may be listed as a founder of the bar foundation on bar association fundraising letters, nor may the law firm, whose names includes the part-time judge’s name, be so listed, particularly in view of the fact that one of the fundraising objectives is to provide welfare and aid to members of the county bar. However, the judges’ names and the judge’s law firm may be listed as founders on non-fundraising letters.