January 20, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (10-171) asking whether you may participate in a panel discussion about the findings and proposed Justice Court reforms detailed in a study by the Research Center.
A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[B]), as long as such activities are not incompatible with judicial office and do not cast doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge, detract from the dignity of judicial office, or interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[A]-).
The Committee previously has advised that a judge may engage in extra-judicial activities that concern the law, the legal system and the administration of justice (see Opinions 10-24; 09-50; 07-109). Because the study by the Research Center concerns proposed justice court reforms, you may participate in a panel discussion about them.
I have enclosed Opinions 10-24, 09-50 and 07-109 for your information.