Opinion: 97-128

December 11, 1997

Digest:  Literature promoting an international conference on certain legal issues and related matters may list a judge as a speaker and refer to his/her experience and credentials, but such references should be restricted to the judge's qualifications to be a speaker at the event.

Rules:  22 NYCRR 100.2(C); 100.4(B).


            A judge, who has been invited to speak at an international conference in another country, inquires regarding the extent to which conference organizers may advertise that the judge is to be a participant and speaker. The conference is concerned with travel and tourism law and related matters.

            The presentation of a speech dealing with such issues is permitted by section 100.4(B) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, which authorizes judges to lecture about the law. With respect to advertising that the judge is a speaker, section 100.2(C) of the Rules forbids a judge from lending "the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others". Accordingly, any use of the judge's name, photograph, etc. should be restricted to reciting the judge's experience and credentials insofar as they relate to his/her qualifications as a conference speaker and participant, and not for the advancement of any "private interests" of conference organizers.