April 29, 1999
The members of a judge's association are not ethically prohibited from
voting for the making of a donation out of the association funds to the
local county bar association building fund.
22 NYCRR 100.(4)(C)(3)(b)(i).
A judge has been asked, as president of a county judge's association, to propose to the membership of the association, that the association contribute to the county bar association's building fund. The contribution would be authorized by a vote of the association membership. The judge asks if there is any rule that prohibits a judge who is a member of the organization from supporting such a motion.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provide that a judge may not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activity on behalf of an organization. 22 NYCRR 100.(4)(C)(3)(b)(i). Here, the proposal to have the association donate funds already in its treasury does not, in our opinion, constitute the solicitation of funds from other judges. The act of voting on the expenditure of the association's funds constitutes approval for the spending of association funds, not the raising of funds. 22 NYCRR 100.(4)(C)(3)(b)(i). The proposal does not require the solicitation of funds from individual members and is, therefore, not ethically prohibited.