December 11, 1990
Digest: A full-time judge may accept an invitation to be honored at the non-fund raising annual dinner of an ethnic police association.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)
A full-time judge inquires whether the judge may accept an invitation to be honored at the annual dinner of a non-profit, ethnic association composed of police and correction officers. The dinner is non-profit and involves no fund-raising and the judge’s name will in no way be used in connection with any fund-raising activities.
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that a judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or that interfere with the performance of judicial duties, but:
No judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such organization, provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds. No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization’s fund-raising events, but he or she may attend such events. Nothing in this Part shall be deemed to prohibit a judge from being a speaker or guest of honor at a bar association or law school function.
This provision primarily prohibits judges from involvement in fund-raising efforts on behalf of civic or charitable groups, but does not prohibit judges from otherwise participating in those organizations. Since the dinner here will not involve fund-raising, or use the judge’s name for that purpose, the judge may accept the invitation to be honored at the dinner.