October 1, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
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][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]).
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.)