September 5, 1996
Note: Please see Opinion 16-153, which overrules this opinion.
Digest: A judge may not solicit funds from other judges for charitable causes.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i)
A judge inquires if it is permissible to solicit funds from other judges for charitable causes.
The judge participates in an athletic event, the purpose of which is to raise funds for cancer research. The judge has also been requested to collect pledges for that purpose.
Section 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides, that a judge “shall not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fund- raising activities;” on behalf of a charitable organization.
The judge inquires if the rule is applicable to solicitation of contributions from other judges.
The purpose of the rule is to avoid the appearance of impropriety resulting from the perception that the contributor could expect a favor from the judge in return. A similar situation could exist between judges in the performance of their judicial duties.
The Committee concludes that the present rule does not contain any exception to the prohibition. It would therefore be inappropriate for a judge to solicit other judges for contributions to charitable causes.