September 5, 1996
Digest: A part-time judge associated with a private mediation and arbitration service may not allow the use of the judge’s name preceded by the honorific “Hon.” in the organization’s advertisements.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2(C); Opinion 92-125
A part-time village justice inquires whether he/she may permit the use of his/her name, preceded by the abbreviation “Hon.”, in the advertisements of a private judicial mediation and arbitration service with which the judge is associated.
Rule 100.2(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states that “A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others...”. In an analogous context, the Committee has previously held that a part-time judge who practices law should not use his or her judicial title in an advertisement for his or her law practice (Opinion 92-125).
In both instances, the prestige of judicial office is being used to advance the judge’s private interests. Accordingly, the judge should not permit the use of the honorific “Hon.”, before his/her name. However, the listing of the judge’s name without any form of reference to his/her judicial position is not prohibited.