January 20, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (20-187) asking whether you may be a limited liability partner in a limited liability partnership which will apply to be a franchisee of a for-profit business. You indicate that you would only be a “passive investor” and “would not be involved in day-to-day operations or management of personnel” if the application is successful.
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]). However, the Rules do not prohibit a full-time judge from being a purely passive investor in a business entity. Therefore, provided you do not assume any active role, title, or function in the management or control of the business, you may be a limited liability partner.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 18-169; 17-52; and 99-73 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice