Opinion 95-76

April 27, 1995


Digest:         A court may not participate in a charitable fundraising event in which staff members of the court are permitted to dress casually in return for a monetary contribution to the charity.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.5(b)


         A Family Court has been asked by United Cerebral Palsy to participate in an event called “Casual Day.” As described by the charity, “Casual Day ‘95" is a day when employers allow their workers to work in casual clothes in exchange for a $5 donation to United Cerebral Palsy.” Staff members of the court who are participants would receive a button which would indicate that their casual clothing was a result of their contribution, thus signifying to the public “that the court is not usually so informal.”

         The Committee is of the opinion that the court may not engage in this activity. It is a fundraising activity and thus it is inappropriate for the Court to participate in such activity by regulating the dress of staff members in a manner which requires them to pay a sum of money to the charity in return for permission to deviate from usual standards of dress.