March 26, 2019
This responds to your inquiry (19-24) whether you may donate office space, in a building you own, to a not-for-profit charitable entity providing support to immigrants regardless of their immigration status. Though you are a part-time attorney judge practicing in the same building, you state the space will be on a different floor from your law firm. We understand the entity does not appear in court nor provide legal services to anyone.
We conclude the proposed in-kind gift of office space is ethically permissible on these facts. Further, your proposed charitable donation is not rendered ethically impermissible merely because the entity gives general “know-your-rights” legal information and connects immigrants to pro bono legal services.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 15-223, 09-48 and 04-140, which address these issues.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice
Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice