Opinion: 97-41

May 8, 1997

Digest:  A judge may attend a fund-raising event held on the judge's behalf, within the six-month Window Period following the general election that resulted in the judge's re-election.

Rules:  22 NYCRR 100.0(Q), 100.5(A)(2)(i)
            Opinion 90-195 (Vol. VI).


            A recently re-elected judge inquires whether, during the six month post-election Window Period, attendance at a fund-raising event sponsored by members of the judge's campaign committee is permitted. The judge would not personally solicit contributions.

            Pursuant to section 100.5(A)(2)(i) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, "a judge ... who is a candidate ... may participate in his or her own campaign ...". Participation in the campaign means, among other things, that during the Window Period, as defined in section 100.0(Q), the judge may "attend and speak to gatherings on his or her own behalf provided that the candidate does not personally solicit contributions". 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(2)(i). Accordingly, the judge may attend the event.

            The Committee notes that the inquiring judge does not specify the purpose for which the proceeds of the fund-raiser are to be applied. The Committee will presume that the funds will be used to pay the legal obligations of the judge's campaign committee for the recently concluded campaign. Under these circumstances, the judge's attendance is permitted (cf. Opinion 90-195 (Vol. VI) [judge's campaign committee may not hold post-election fundraiser for purpose of reimbursing political leader in absence of legal obligation, or for purpose of reimbursing judge for personal expenditures]).