January 25, 1996
Digest: A judge may make a contribution to a Legal Aid Society
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(1).
A full-time judge asks whether a contribution to a local Legal Aid Society might create an appearance of impropriety, given the possibility that attorneys from the Society might appear before the judge in criminal cases.
In the Committee’s view there is no appearance of impropriety in making such a contribution to the Legal Aid Society which is a private not-for-profit corporation. The mere making of such a charitable contribution does not in any way “cast reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge” (22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(1)) , and is therefore ethically permissible.