January 28, 1993
Digest: A judge may write a monthly column for a local newspaper on non-legal events, activities and organizations of interest to a particular ethnic community, provided that the column is not used to publicize fundraising.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(a) and (b)(2).
A judge, who has been asked to write a monthly column for a local newspaper providing information about non-legal events, activities and organizations of interest to a particular ethnic community, inquires whether the judge may write such a column, and if so, whether the judge may report on organizational elections and upcoming fundraising events. The judge informs this Committee that the position would be nonpaying and would make no reference to his position as a judge.
Section 100.5(a) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator allows judges to “write, lecture, teach and speak on non-legal subjects, and engage in the arts, sports and other social and recreational activities, if such avocational activities do no detract from the dignity of the office or interfere with the performance of judicial duties.” Section 100.5(b)(2), however, does not allow judges to “solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization.”
Accordingly, the judge may write the column for the local newspaper, but must observe judicial proprieties and other restrictions on judges, and provided that the column is not used for fundraising purposes.