NOTE: For further guidance, see also 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) (discussing certain exceptions to the rule discussed in Opinion 98-16); Opinion 04-141 (if the judge’s presence and role as presenter of the award are not advertised, a judge may introduce and present an award to an honoree at a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising dinner).
January 29, 1998
Digest: A judge may not introduce the speakers and dignitaries at a civic/religious group's fund-raising dinner, but may attend such an event.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.0(Q); 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii).
A recently elected judge inquires as to the permissibility of appearing at a fund-raiser for a local civic/religious organization for the limited purpose of introducing the speakers and dignitaries present at the function. Section 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct specifically prohibits a judge from speaking at a fund-raising event, although he/she may attend the event: "A judge... may not be a speaker... at an organization's fund-raising events, but the judge may attend such events." In the Committee's view, introducing the speakers and others constitutes speaking at the fund-raiser.
The fact that the judge was within the six-month Window Period (22 NYCRR 100.0[Q]), following his/her election on November 4, 1997, has no bearing on the preclusion from speaking at a civic/religious fund-raising dinner. The Window Period only allows participation in certain political activities, which this clearly is not.