September 24, 1992
Digest: A full-time judge may serve as a member of the board of directors of a civic, educational, not-for-profit organization, provided that the judge does not participate in the solicitation of funds.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b).
A full-time judge inquires whether the judge may sit on the board of directors of a not-for-profit corporation formed to promote awareness of AIDS and related health problems in the African-American community. The judge states that the judge is well aware that he or she can have no connection with the organization's fundraising activities.
Section 100.5(b) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts provides that a judge may serve as a director of an educational or civic organization not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members. Section 100.5(b)(2) admonishes that:
No judge shall solicit funds for an 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 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 an organization’s fundraising events, but he or she may attend such events...
Thus, pursuant to this rule, the judge may serve as a member of the board of directors, but may not solicit funds or permit the use of the prestige of the judge’s office for that purpose. The judge’s name may be listed as a member of the board of directors, but may not be used in connection with the solicitation of funds, even if the judge is not identified as a judge on the organization’s stationery.