February 13, 2008
This response addresses your inquiry (07-164) about whether you may serve on an Advisory Panel for the paralegal program offered by a publicly-funded community college.
The Committee previously has concluded that a full-time city court judge may serve on the board of trustees of a local community college that is part of the State University of New York [Opinion 90-32 (Vol. V)]. A Supreme Court Justice, however, is prohibited by the New York State Constitution from serving on such a board. NY Const. Art. 6, §20(b)(1); Opinion 94-104 (Vol. XII). The Committee also has concluded that a full-time judge may serve on an advisory panel for a proposed school of law and finance for a local high school (Opinion 02-63). The Committee cautioned, however, that a judge engaging in such activities cannot be involved in fund-raising activities on behalf of the institution he/she serves, and must recuse him/herself in any proceedings affecting or involving that institution.
As a Supreme Court Justice you may serve on an Advisory Panel for a paralegal program offered by a publicly-funded community college as such service is not prohibited by the Constitution.
I have enclosed copies of Opinions 90-32, 94-104 and 02-63 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Supreme Court Justice