Opinion 17-124

October 13, 2017



Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (17-124) asking whether it is ethically permissible to be the announced speaker for the annual tea party of a certain chapter of a not-for-profit charitable entity. You indicate that the tea party includes an advertised raffle/auction in an adjacent room. You further ask whether removing any reference to the raffle/auction from the invitation would eliminate any ethical concerns.

         The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from being a speaker or guest of honor at an organization’s fund-raising event, although the judge may attend the event (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][b][ii]). As there will be fund-raising activities taking place during the event, you should not be the guest speaker. Removing any reference to the raffle/auction from the invitation will not change the fund-raising aspect of the event.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 16-17 and 15-154 which address this issue.


                                       Very truly yours,


                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

                                       Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)

                                       Committee Co-Chair

                                       Hon. Margaret T. Walsh

                                       Family Court Judge

                                       Acting Justice, Supreme Court

                                       Committee Co-Chair