Opinion: 99-57

April 29, 1999

Digest: A judge may not be a speaker at a charity's fund-raising breakfast even if there is no solicitation of funds at the breakfast itself.

Rule:  22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii);
          Opinions 89-92 (Vol. IV);
           91-61 (Vol. VII); 91-128 (Vol. VIII).


            A judge has been asked to be the keynote speaker at an awards breakfast sponsored by a charity. There will be no solicitation of funds at the breakfast, and all souvenir journal ads will have been placed prior to the breakfast.

            The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from being the speaker or guest of honor at a charity's fund-raising event. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(ii). Opinions 91-61 (Vol. VII); 91-128 (Vol. VIII). This breakfast is a fund-raising event even though there may not be any solicitation actually taking place at the event. Opinion 89-92 (Vol. IV). Fund-raising has taken place through the purchase of tickets and through the sale of advertisements in the souvenir journal prior to the affair. The breakfast event is, in fact, a vehicle to generate the funds raised on behalf of the charity. Therefore, the judge not be the keynote speaker at this charitable, fund-raising breakfast.