22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3);
100.4(C)(3)(a)(i) and (ii);
Opinion 96-137 (Vol. XV).
A full-time judge has been asked to serve as a gubernatorial appointee to a task force to study the present parole system and to recommend changes based upon new laws and technology. The judge asks if it is permissible to accept the appointment.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a judge to: "...be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an organization or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice..." 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3). Such service is limited by the provision that the judge may not serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor to an organization if: "...it is likely that the organization (i) will be engaged in proceedings that will ordinarily come before the judge, or (ii) if the judge is a full-time judge, will be engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court." 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(a)(i)and(ii).
Since the purpose of this task force is to study and recommend improvements to the parole system, it clearly falls within the area authorized by the Rules, i.e., the law, legal system or the administration of justice. In addition, it does not appear likely that this task force will be engaged in proceedings before this judge or engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court. Thus, in the opinion of the Committee it is not improper for the judge to accept the Governor's appointment to this task force. Opinion 96-137 (Vol. XV).