June 13, 1996
Digest: A judge may participate in a panel discussion sponsored by the sheriff’s department as part of its training program for the purpose of explaining the procedures and operations of the court.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2 (A); 100.3 (B) (8); 100.4 (B); Opinion 93-82 (Vol. XI); 92-83 (Vol. IX).
A judge inquires whether participation in a panel discussion sponsored by the local sheriff’s department, as part of the department’s regular training program, is ethically permissible.
Section 100.4 (B) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permits a judge to “speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities subject to the requirements of this part.” This would include lecturing and teaching on the law and the administration of justice.
In the opinion of the Committee, the judge may participate in a panel discussion in which the judge explains the procedures and operations of the court. The fact that the deputy sheriffs who attend the training program may appear before the judge does not render the judge’s participation inappropriate See Opinions 92-83 (Vol. IX); 93-82 (Vol XI). But the judge may not discuss any pending or impending case [22 NYCRR 100.3 (B)(8)], and care must be exercised to avoid any perception of partiality or of a predisposition to decide matters in a particular way. 22 NYCRR 100.2 ().