June 18, 1992
Digest: A judge may not take an acting part in a play that is a fundraising event.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.5(b)(2); 100.2.
A part-time judge inquires whether he or she may make a cameo appearance in a play which is a charitable fund raising event.
Since the play is a fund-raising event, the judge's participation is expressly forbidden by Section 100.5 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, which prohibits the solicitation of funds by judges. It may not appear at first blush that the judge is soliciting funds, but the publication of the judge's participation, whether written or oral, may subtly suggest a solicitation by the judge.
In addition, the judge's participation in the play would create an appearance of impropriety. The public might believe that the judge might favor those who attended or contributed to what might be perceived as a favored charity of the judge's. (See NYCRR §100.2.)