Opinion 98-62
June 19, 1998
Digest:    A part-time judge, who is a musician, may perform at a non-political, fund-raising event, for a not-for-profit organization, provided that the judge's name and title are not used in any advertising, and the judge's participation is not a prominent or substantial part of the event. The judge may also perform as a musician at a political fund-raising event provided that the judge receives customary and reasonable compensation as the musician.

Rules:    22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); 100.5(A)(1)(h); 100.6(B)(4);
              Opinion 90-84 (Vol. V).


            A part-time judge, who is a musician, asks whether he/she may perform at fund-raising benefits, for which compensation is rarely received. Although not specified, this Committee assumes that the events are connected the activities of not-for-profit educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organizations. See 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3).

            The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a part-time judge to accept employment which is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judges duties. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4). This judge's functioning as a musician, while constituting employment, would still be subject to the ethical restrictions on soliciting funds for a civic, charitable, fraternal, religious or educational organization set forth in section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
            Thus, irrespective of the receipt of any compensation, it is the opinion of the Committee that the inquiring judge may perform at the fund-raising event(s), but the judge's title and name should not be advertised, nor should the judge's participation be a prominent or substantial feature of the event.

            Under circumstances where the fund-raising event is political in nature, the judge may also perform, so long as he/she receives customary and reasonable compensation, inasmuch as a failure to receive such compensation could be construed as a prohibited political contribution by the judge. 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(1)(h). Opinion 90-84 (Vol. V).