Joint Opinion 96-126 and 96-130

December 12, 1996


Digest:         Judges may not participate in a fund-raising spelling bee sponsored by a local newspaper in order to raise funds for the local community college.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii)(iv); Matter of Wolfgang, (N.Y. Com. Jud. Cond. November 1988); Mater of Turner, (N.Y. Com. Jud. Cond; March 1988).


         Two judges ask if they may participate, along with other local dignitaries, in a fund-raising spelling bee sponsored by their local newspaper for the purpose of raising funds for a local community college.

         Judges may not solicit funds, participate in the solicitation of funds, or allow their names to be used in the solicitation of funds for a charitable organization, including an educational organization; nor may a judge be the speaker or guest of honor at the organization’s fund raising event, although the judge may attend such an event. [22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) and (iv)]. See Matter of Wolfgang (N.Y. Com. Jud. Cond., November, 1988), Matter of Turner (N.Y. Com. Jud. Cond., March, 1988). Therefore, the judges may attend the event, but they may not participate as contestants in the spelling bee.