February 24, 1989
Topic: Supreme Court justice serving as a paid consultant to a weekly dramatic commercial television series.
Digest: A judge may not serve as a paid consultant to any profit-oriented business enterprise, including a television series.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(c)(2)
A Supreme Court justice inquires whether he may serve as a paid consultant on his own time for a weekly dramatic series about the court system and judges on network television.
The Committee recognizes that such consultation might well prove beneficial to the administration of justice in that it might help to ensure an accurate portrayal of the court system to the public. However, Section 100.5(c)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides:
No judge or justice of the ... Supreme Court ... shall be a managing or active participant in any form of business enterprise organized for profit nor shall he or she serve as an ... advisory board member ... of any corporation .... organized for profit....
Here, the justice’s service as a paid consultant to a weekly dramatic television series would constitute participation in a commercial enterprise clearly organized for profit, and is not permissible under the plain language of the above-quoted rule.