April 28, 1994
Digest: A declared candidate for judicial office may personally seek political support for the nomination. Attendance at fundraising functions must be within the time period specified in Rule 100.7.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.7
The inquirer is presently a town justice and is seeking nomination for the office of judge of the County Court. The election will be this coming November, preceded by the primary election in September. The following questions are asked:
1. As a candidate, am I permitted to attend the functions of local wards, the County Committee and the towns and villages in order to meet committee persons and seek their support?
2. Must I have a formal Committee to Elect prior to "testing the water" for support?
3. Am I permitted to seek sign locations and campaign workers personally? (I understand that monetary contributions are secret to me; my treasurer has always kept that information confidential.)
4. Am I permitted to seek the nomination and/or support of other parties and organizations personally?
5.Taking a quantum leap past election day, when elected may I continue on a handful of cases that are almost ready for trial and resolve them personally even if a trial is required?
It is the opinion of the Committee that the answer to questions “1”, “3 ”, and “4” is “Yes”, provided that the inquirer is a declared candidate. Further, as to question “1” attendance at such functions is governed by Rule 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator. That rule specifies the period during which a judge may attend a, fundraising dinner or affair on behalf of the judge's own candidacy, i.e., commencing nine months before the primary election and ending six months after the general election if the judge is a candidate in the general election.
As to question “2”, the answer is “No.” With respect to question “5”, the Committee assumes that the inquirer is referring to anticipated activity as a lawyer in private practice. Such activity may continue after the election but must cease entirely upon taking the oath of office as judge of the County Court.