September 21, 1995
Digest: A full time judge may attend and participate in a member/guest golf outing as guest of an attorney who practices before the judge provided the attorney is not actually on trial before the judge at the time of the outing and provided there is no appearance of impropriety.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(a)
An attorney who practices before a full time judge has invited the judge as a guest to attend a member/guest golf outing at the attorney's golf club. The outing consists of golf, lunch and dinner. The judge inquires if it is permissible to attend the outing and participate in it.
This committee has previously advised that a judge may accept ordinary social hospitality from attorneys practicing in the judge's court provided there is no discussion relating to any of the attorney's matters then pending before the judge, and provided further the judges appearance at the outing does not otherwise create the appearance of impropriety. See Opinion 91-136, Vol. VIII; 89-23, Vol. III, 87-12, Vol. I.
However, should the attorney be on trial before the judge at the time of the outing, the judge should consider declining the invitation to avoid the appearance of impropriety.