March 11, 1993
Digest: A county court judge's principal law clerk may accept a volunteer position in a political campaign provided that no political activities take place on court premises or on court time, and provided that the clerk avoids any implication that he or she is acting for the judge.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(b)(5)
A county court judge inquires whether the judge's principal law clerk may accept a volunteer position in the political campaign of a candidate who is campaigning in the same county as the judge's court. The activities involved in this position include:
1. soliciting and coordinating volunteers;
2. designating persons to organize volunteer efforts;
3. canvassing for signatures on nominating petitions, and supervising such efforts; and
4. conducting telephone polls to identify and foster candidate support, and supervising such efforts.
The position will not entail solicitation of funds either directly or indirectly .
This Committee assumes that the principal law clerk is a personal appointee of the judge. Section 100.3(b)(5) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct states the limitations on the political activities of a judge's personal appointees. The proposed activities do not appear to violate this rule, provided, however, that such activities do not take place on court premises or on court time, and that the clerk avoids any implication that he or she is acting for the judge.