Opinion 17-52

June 30, 2017


Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (17-52) asking if you may hold a small percentage ownership in a limited liability company your spouse is forming to provide consulting services in his/her field. As a full-time judge, you say your “role would be strictly passive” and you would have no involvement in the company’s management or operations.

         The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a full-time judge from being a “general partner...or other active participant of any business entity” (22 NYCRR 100.4[D][3]). However, the Rules do not prohibit a full-time judge from being a limited partner in a business entity. Also, you would not assume “an active role in the management or control of the business” (Opinion 99-73). Under these circumstances, you may serve as a limited partner in the described company.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 13-84; 06-135; 99-73; and 96-143/97-43/97-58/97-66/97-96 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