Opinion: 98-87
September 10, 1998
Digest:    A judge may participate in a conference on domestic violence and lecture on the felony domestic violence part over which the judge presides, but may not comment on pending or impending cases or manifest a predisposition in deciding cases.

Rule:    22 NYCRR 100.3(B)(8); 100.4(B)
            Opinions 96-44 (Vol. XIV); 91-75
            (Vol. VII): 91-104 (Vol. VIII).


            A judge who presides over a felony domestic violence part of the court has been invited to participate in a national conference on domestic violence, and inquires as to the propriety of speaking about the domestic violence part.

            Section 100.4 (B) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permits a judge to "speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities subject to the requirements of this Part". 22 NYCRR 100.4(B). Such activities include teaching and lecturing about the law and the administration of justice, and include explanations of the procedures and operations of the court where the judge serves. See, e.g., Opinion 96-44 (Vol. XIV) [judge may lecture at training programs for deputy sheriffs]; Opinion 91-75 (Vol. VII) [judge may serve as advisor to bar association legal continuing education program]; Opinion 91-104 (Vol. VIII) [judge may lecture school bus drivers on vehicle and traffic law].

            Thus, the inquiring judge may participate in the program as described, subject to the proviso that the judge say nothing which could reasonably be interpreted as reflecting a predisposition of any kind in connection with domestic violence cases. Further, the judge may not comment on any proceedings pending or impending in any court in the United States or its territories. 22 NYCRR 100.3(B)(8).