Opinion 16-15

March 24, 2016


Dear :


         This answers your inquiry (16-15) asking if it is ethical to accept an honorarium for giving the “lesson for the day” at a worship service. You say you will not participate in any “invitations” for donations.


         Section 100.4(H)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states a full-time judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for permissible extra-judicial activities, provided it does not exceed a reasonable amount nor exceed what a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[H][1][a]).

         Also, 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(2) requires full-time judges to “report the date, place and nature of any [extra-judicial] activity for which the judge receive[s] compensation in excess of $150, and the name of the payor and the amount of compensation” (22 NYCRR 100.4[H][2]). The report “shall be made at least annually and shall be filed as a public document” to your court's chief clerk (id.).

         Such permissible extra-judicial activities are subject to the prohibition on personal solicitation of funds (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][b][i], [iv]).

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 15-92(A); 10-148; 06-103; and 94-57 which address this issue.

                                       Very truly yours,


                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

                                       Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

                                       Committee Chair