June 27, 2016
This responds to your inquiry (16-78) asking if it is ethically permissible to express your views to the town board concerning a proposed change to a local speed limit. Specifically, you wish to advise the town board that defendants already perceive the local speed limit as a “speed-trap” and to express your view that the proposed change may undermine public confidence in the courts.
The Committee has consistently advised judges, in situations similar to this, that it is ethically permissible to publicly comment to legislative bodies or municipal boards about proposals that directly affect the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. Therefore, you may act accordingly.
Enclosed, for your convenience are Opinions 15-48; 14-139; 13-189/14-02; and 10-147 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)