Digest: A judge may serve on the Board of Directors of an international bar association specializing in travel law, provided that the judge does not participate in fund-raising or lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the organization or the judge.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2 ( C); 100.4 ( C) (3); Opinion 90-135
A judge asks if it is permissible to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of an International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates, which is an organization of attorneys and law professors headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In essence, this group is an international bar association specializing in travel and tourism law which will hold international conferences and will publish a newsletter. Board members are not compensated.
Section 100.4 ( C) (3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states:
(3) A judge may be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an organization or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or of an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit, subject to the following limitations and the other requirements of this Part. (emphasis added)
One such limitation is the prohibition against personally participating in fund-raising activities 22 NYCRR 100.4 ( C) (3) (b).
Further, a judge must exercise care in insuring that any use fo the judge’s name, title or position is not being used by the organization in the conduct of its activities to promote or advance the private interests of the organization or of the judge. (22 NYCRR 100.2 ( C). See Opinion 90-135.)
With such constraints in mind, the inquiring judge may serve on the board of directors of an international bar association specializing in travel law.