March 14, 1991
Digest: A full-time judge may serve as a member of the board of directors of a charitable, educational and scientific, not-for-profit organization, provided that the judge does not participate in the solicitation of funds or use his or her office for that purpose.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.5(b)
A full-time judge inquires whether the judge may sit on the board of directors of an organization whose purposes are exclusively charitable, educational and scientific. The judge relates that the organization is a not-for-profit corporation organized and incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia. The only fundraising done by the organization is to promote charitable, educational and scientific purposes. The judge is listed on the stationery with the judge’s academic degree, not judicial title.
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts provides that a judge may participate in charitable and educational activities that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties, but admonishes that:
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 fundraising events, but he or she may attend such events....
Pursuant to this rule, the judge, unquestionably, may serve as a member of the board of directors, but may not solicit funds or permit the use of the prestige of the judge’s office for that purpose. Further, the judge’s name may be listed as a member of the board of directors, but may not be used in connection with the solicitation of funds, even though the judge is not identified as a judge, on the organization’s stationery.