Opinion: 99-94

June 18, 1999

Digest: (1) A judge is permitted to serve as a director of a not-for-profit educational corporation, provided the judge adheres to the limitations on such service set forth in section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. (2) The judge may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket travel expenses incurred in attending board meetings.

Rule:  22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); 100.4(C)(3)(a)(i)and (ii);
          100.3(C)(3)(b); 100.4(H)(1)(b).


            A judge inquires whether it is permissible to serve as a director of a not-for-profit educational corporation and, if so, whether the judge may accept reimbursement from the organization for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred to attend meetings of the corporation's board of directors.

            The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provide that:

A judge may be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of ... an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3).
            The Rule goes on to place certain limitations on such service, involving such matters as the possibility of the organization being engaged in adversary proceedings (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][a][i], [ii]); fund-raising activities and membership solicitation. 22 NYCRR 100.3(C)(3)(b). The judge is required to observe those limitations and any other restraints that apply to extra-judicial activities.

            Finally, the judge may receive reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses for carrying out permissible extra-judicial activities. Such reimbursable expenses include the actual cost of travel, food and lodging reasonably incurred by the judge. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1)(b).