Opinion: 97-26

March 13, 1997

Digest:  A judge may provide a cultural and ethnic organization of which the judge is a member, with the names of other judges as prospective members and may allow the use of the judge's name on membership invitations to other judges.

Rule:  22 NYCRR 100.2(C);
           Opinions: 96-82, 96-19.


            The inquiring Court of Claims judge is a member of organization known as the "[name of city] Irish Center," which is contemplating a membership drive.

            As stated by the judge:

    The Center does not discriminate in any fashion. However, a majority of the members are of Irish extraction and most activities at the Center relate to Irish cultural events. It is a non-profit organization and does not engage in any political activities.

    Would you please advise me 1) as to the propriety of supplying the Center with the names of judges that might be inclined to join, and 2) if invitations could be sent with my name on them to those judges.

            The Committee perceives no ethical barrier that would prevent the judge from supplying the Center with the names of other judges or in allowing the judge's name to be used on invitations for membership. It is to be noted that the judge serves on the Court of Claims and therefore does not exercise appellate or supervisory authority over other judges to whom the invitations will be sent. Thus, there is no danger of any appearance that the judge is using the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or of the organization. See, 22 NYCRR 100.2(C); Opinion 96-19.

            The Committee further notes that in accordance with Opinion 96-82, it is not rendering any opinion as to the nature or practices of the organization insofar as they may relate to the provisions of section 100.2(D) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.