Opinion: 99-145

October 21, 1999

Digest: A full-time judge may write and have published works of fiction but the promotion of such works should not exploit the judge's judicial position.

Rule:  22 NYCRR 100.2(C); 100.4(A); 100.4(D)(1)(a).


            A full-time judge inquires whether it is ethically permissible to author works of fiction to be commercially published.

            Section 100.4(A) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permits a judge to engage in avocational activities which do not (22 NYCRR 100.4):

1. cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially as a judge;

2. detract from the dignity of judicial office; or

3. interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties and are not incompatible with judicial office.
            The publication of fictional works authored by a judge does not violate any of these provisions. However, care should be taken by the judge so that the judge's judicial position is not exploited in the promotion of the published work. 22 NYCRR 100.2(C); 100.4(D)(1)(a).