April 27, 1995
NOTE: MODIFIED BY RULE 100.4(C)(3)(b)(I)
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct were amended in 1996. Rule 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i) now provides as follows:
(b) A judge as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisory, or a member or otherwise:
(i) may assist such an organization [an organization devoted to the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit] in planning fund-raising and may participate in the management and investment of the organization's funds, but shall not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activities.
Digest: A judge may not serve on legal and admissions subcommittees of a residential cooperative.
Rule: 22 NYCRR100.2(a), 100.2(c). 100.5(b)
A part-time village justice asks whether he or she may continue to serve on the admissions and legal committees of a residential cooperative. The admissions committee reviews all purchase and sublet applications and interviews prospective purchasers and sublessees, although the power of final approval is vested in the Board of Directors. The legal committee renders legal advice to the cooperative, e.g., by reviewing proposed contractual arrangements and settling disputes with third-parties.
The Committee has previously advised that judges may serve on the board of directors of a residential cooperative, provided that they avoid giving legal or investment advice or participating in decisions likely to lead to litigation in any court (Opinion 88-98, Vol. II, see also Opinion 94-08, Vol. XIII). However, the Committee also has advised that a judge may not serve on an admissions subcommittee of a residential cooperative because by doing so, the judge would participate in decisions which are likely to lead to litigation (Opinion 88-119, Vol. II). The judge should resign from the admissions committee. The judge should also resign from the legal committee because the judge should not render legal advice to the corporative and because, again, participation would embroil the judge in decisions likely to lead to litigation.