Opinion 15-162

October 1, 2015


Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (15-162) asking whether you may write and publish a children’s book with a commercial publisher who will market and sell the book to the public and accept royalties; and whether you may personally market and sell the book.

         SCAR Hearing Officers are subject to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (see 22 NYCRR 100.6[A]; Opinion 13-133). Thus, the standards of conduct are applicable to both hearing officers and full-time judges.

         The Committee has previously advised that a judge may author, have marketed and collect revenues and royalties based upon the sales of a book. However, any such compensation shall not exceed a reasonable amount or an amount that a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[H][1][a]). And, a full-time judge must file a report (with the chief clerk of the court) of the date, place and nature of any activity for which the judge received compensation in excess of $150 (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[H][2]).

         As for personally marketing or selling the book, the Committee has previously advised that this conduct is ethically impermissible.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 13-133, 13-06; 10-84; and 05-149 which address these issues.


                                       Very truly yours,



George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair