December 12, 1996
Digest: A full-time judge may serve on certain governmental committees concerned with the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(c)(2)(a), 100.4(C)(3)
A newly-elected full-time judge asks if he/she may continue serving on the following non-partisan governmental committees:
- A regional advisory council to the Governor on women’s issues;
- A judicial district’s gender bias committee;
- A New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service’s advisory council on domestic violence issues
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit full-time judges from serving on governmental committees or commissions except those concerned with the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(2)(a), 100.4(C)(3). Even if membership is permitted, the judge may not serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor if it is likely that the organization will be engaged in proceedings that ordinarily would come before the judge or will be engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(a)(i)and(ii).
All three of the committees described above are concerned with the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice and none is likely to be engaged in litigation which might prohibit the judge’s service. Therefore, it is not improper for a judge to accept appointment to or to serve on any or all of these committees.