Opinion: 98-39
March 12, 1998
Digest:    A judge may attend a fund-raising dinner sponsored by a Boy Scout unit, but may not serve as the master of ceremonies.

Rules:    22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii)
              Opinion 88-66(Vol. II)


            A judge inquires if it is permissible to serve as the master of ceremonies at a fund-raising dinner sponsored by a Boy Scout unit at which a friend of the judge is to be honored.

            This Committee has previously advised that a judge may attend and accept an award at a Boy Scout dinner, "provided the dinner is not a fund raising event." Opinion 88-66(Vol. II), emphasis added.

            This is because the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, which allow a judge to attend a fund-raising event sponsored by a civic, charitable, fraternal, cultural, religious or educational organization, expressly prohibit a judge from being the speaker or guest of honor at the fund event. As stated in Section 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii) of the Rules, "a judge may not be a speaker or the guest of honor at any organization's fund-raising events, but the judge may attend such events."

            In the Committee's view, serving as master of ceremonies constitutes being a "speaker" at the event, and is therefore prohibited.