September 18, 2017
This responds to your inquiry (17-137) asking whether it is ethically permissible for a part-time judge under your supervision to accept an award as Citizen of the Year from a local not-for-profit entity and whether the award may be advertised in advance. The award will be given at a non-fund-raising dinner which is complimentary for the award recipient and a guest.
We have previously advised that a judge may accept an award that is advertised in advance as long as the event at which the award is given is not a fund-raiser. Complimentary admission to this modestly priced event for the honoree and a guest is considered ordinary social hospitality and, therefore, is ethically permissible to accept (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[D][c]).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 14-193, 12-112, and 11-81 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court