Opinion: 97-32

March 13, 1997

Digest:  A judge is not required to prohibit the judge's law clerk, in the law clerk's campaign for judicial office, from listing in campaign literature, the law clerk's present and past employment on the staffs of three Supreme Court justices.

Rules:  22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(1)(d),(e),(h);


            A law clerk to a Supreme Court justice is running for judicial office. The judge asks if it is permissible to allow the law clerk's election committee to include as part of the law clerk's biographical data, the fact that the law clerk worked for two Supreme Court Justices in the past and is currently working with the inquiring judge. All three judges would be listed by name and title and the data may be used in invitations to fund-raising affairs.

            The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from participating in any campaign for elective office except his/her own campaign for elective judicial office. The judge may not permit his/her name to be used in connection with any other campaign, or publicly endorse or solicit funds for another candidate. 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(1)(d),(e) and (h).

            However, the mere fact that the law clerk lists the names and titles of the current and prior judges on whose staff he/she served does not constitute impermissible participation on the part of those judges in the law clerk's political campaign. The law clerk, as a candidate for judicial office, is entitled to refer to the candidate's current and past employment in campaign materials. 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(4)(d)(iii).

            Therefore, the judge need not prohibit the law clerk or the law clerk's campaign committee from listing in the law clerk's campaign literature, the fact that the candidate currently serves on the judge's staff and had served on the staffs of other judges in the past.