June 13, 1991
Digest: A judge may serve in an advisory capacity to a bar association's continuing legal education program and be listed in its mailings which advertise educational programs, although fees are charged for participation.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(a)(c).
A full-time judge inquires if it is permissible for judges to serve in an advisory capacity to a continuing legal education program conducted by a bar association and for which participants pay. The judge's functions would be to oversee policy and implement programs. Mailings to advertise and solicit enrollment in the programs would include the judge's name as a member of the advisory board.
Section 100.4 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides as follows:
A judge, subject to the proper performance of his or her judicial duties, may engage in the following quasi-judicial activities, if in doing so the judge does not cause doubt on the capacity to decide impartially any issue that may come before him or her:
(a) A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in other activities concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.
(b) A judge may serve as a member, officer or director of an organization or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. He or she may assist such an organization in raising funds and may participate in their management and investment, but shall not personally participate in public fundraising activities. He or she may make recommendations to public and private fund-granting agencies on projects and programs concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.
Traditionally, bar associations and similar organizations have conducted seminars, forums and programs to enhance legal professionalism and for which fees are charged. Judges likewise participate as lecturers and program advisors. This is consistent with judges' and attorneys' responsibility to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it.
Judges may participate in the continuing legal education programs and be listed in appropriate mailings which advertise educational programs, although fees are charged for participation.