January 28, 1993
Digest: A part-time judge may serve as a member of the House Committee of a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(c).
A part-time judge, who is a veteran, inquires whether the judge may serve on the House Committee of a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, which committee consists of at least seven members. The Committee is charged with the operation and management of the Post Club rooms and/or canteen including responsibility (1) for cleanliness and upkeep of the quarters and equipment; (2) for sub-rental of the Post’s quarters and oversight over sub-renters; (3) for payment of the Committee’s bills by way of a separate checking account, with the checks to be signed by the Post Commander and Club Steward with approval of the Post Quartermaster; (4) for filing reports of Post meetings; (5) for hiring all employees of the Post including bartenders and Club Steward, at salaries to be determined by the Committee; and (6) for adopting rules and regulations governing the conduct of the Club and Canteen. No action of the Committee becomes final until passed by the general membership of the Post at a Post meeting.
Section 100.5(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, covering permissible extra-judicial activities by a judge, provides that:
A judge may serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members ...
provided, however, that it is not likely that the organization will be involved in adversarial court proceedings and that the judge not solicit funds, nor use nor permit the use of the prestige of the judicial office for that purpose.
Since there is no indication here that the post likely will be engaged in adversarial legal proceedings either before the inquiring judge or otherwise, and since the various duties of the Committee involved do not include solicitation of funds, there appears to be no reason why the judge should not serve as one of the seven members of the House Committee.