Opinion 20-91

July 15, 2020


Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (20-91) asking whether you may receive an unadvertised award at a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising dinner and briefly express your gratitude for the award and for having had the opportunity to serve as board chair before taking the bench.

The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct specifically permit a judge to accept an unadvertised award, as long as the award is ancillary to the event (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][b][ii]). In addition, the Committee has previously advised that upon accepting an unadvertised award at such events, a judge may make brief thank-you remarks. Accordingly, you may accept the award and make brief appreciative comments.


         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 11-37 and 10-134 which address this issue.

                                       Very truly yours,


                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice (Ret.)

                                       Appellate Div., First Dep’t

                                       Committee Co-Chair


                                       Margaret T. Walsh

                                       Supreme Court Justice

                                       Committee Co-Chair