June 6, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (11-51) asking whether it is ethically permissible to serve on the Board of Directors of a homeowners’ association and civic association, neither of which raises funds apart from the collection of dues.
It is ethically permissible to serve on the board of a homeowners’ association provided that you do not give legal advice or engage in decisions likely to lead to litigation. To the extent that you would be asked to review the association’s by-laws, such activity would be impermissible under the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b]; 100.4[G]).
It is also ethically permissible to serve on the board of a civic association in accordance with 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3) and subject to the limitations set forth therein.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 98-93 and 88-119 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)