Subject Matter Index: Extra-Judicial Activities

Note: This page focuses on recent opinions addressing questions about extra-judicial activities.  To access other portions of the subject matter index, please use the general topic links above.
 

Extra-Judicial Activities

(See generally 22 NYCRR 100.4.)

Sub-Topics: Speaking; Teaching; Mentoring | Art; Writing; Music | Officer; Director; Non-Legal Advisor | Governmental Committees and Commissions; Public Office or Trust | Fund-Raising; Membership Solicitation | Attending Fund-Raisers; Making Charitable Donations | Bar Associations and Judicial Associations | Fire Districts, Fire Departments, and Fire-Fighting | Religious Institutions | Law Schools | Solemnizing Marriages | Compensation for Extra-Judicial Activities; Travel Reimbursement; Reporting Compensation | Miscellaneous | Attending Educational Programs; Attending Other Non-Profit, Non-Political, Non-Fund-Raising Events

Extra-Judicial Activities - Speaking; Teaching; Mentoring

Speaking

Opinion 21-134 A village justice may send a mailing to village residents detailing, and limited to, the court's jurisdiction and the types of cases heard in the village court, as it is limited to the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.

Opinion 21-67 May a full-time justice participate, without compensation, in a commercially produced documentary comparing various judicial systems around the world?

Opinion 21-65 A judge may not accept a social media company’s invitation to address its employees in-house about how legal process is authorized, the use and purpose of the company’s records in legal proceedings, and the importance of accuracy and vigilance in response to legal process.

Opinion 21-59(A) A judge may speak at a victim impact panel in a jurisdiction other than that where the judge presides, but when the program is conducted online as a remote or virtual program, the judge must (1) advise the agency that the judge’s presentation is solely for program participants and must not be made available to a broader audience and (2) direct the agency to prohibit recording or distribution of the judge’s presentation by attendees.

Opinion 21-57 May a judge accept an invitation to speak as a guest lecturer for a criminal justice course offered through the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES)?

Opinion 20-215 A full-time judge may participate, without compensation, as an interviewee and consultant for a commercially-produced documentary concerning a case the judge prosecuted several decades ago, provided the case has completely terminated and no related proceedings are pending or impending.

Opinion 20-205 On these facts, a full-time judge may not accept a speaking engagement to discuss a not-for-profit organization’s experience in navigating a highly controversial licensing application and appeal process.

Opinion 20-200 On these facts, a full-time judge may not participate in a proposed not-for-profit corporation that would be exclusively controlled by the judge’s family and would feature the judge as its sole compensated lecturer with a sliding scale of fees.

Opinion 20-131 A judge who was formerly a prosecutor may speak to an ethnic/cultural affinity group, made up of employees at the prosecutor’s office, about the judge’s experience as a prosecutor, the judge’s career path, and the court system’s adaptation to virtual operations.

Opinion 20-84 A full-time judge who formerly served as an assistant corporation counsel may participate in a panel discussion on legal careers for the law department’s summer interns.

Opinion 20-81(B) A part-time judge may appear as legal commentator/analyst on television or online streaming shows, provided he/she does not comment on any pending or reasonably foreseeable cases in the United States or its territories.

Opinion 20-72 May a full-time judge appear in a commercially produced documentary concerning a deceased former client and his/her family, where the representation terminated over 30 years ago?

Opinion 20-49 A full-time judge may volunteer as a disc jockey for a not-for-profit college radio station.

Opinion 20-44 A judge may attend and speak at a free elder abuse awareness conference sponsored by a not-for-profit home health care agency, where the program is primarily educational and preventative in nature.

Opinion 19-166 May a full-time judge participate in a local museum’s documentary film commemorating passage of an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Opinion 19-146 ...(2) The judge may meet with federal executive branch officials on his/her own behalf to discuss his/her experiences as a disabled individual, subject to certain limitations.

Opinion 19-100 A judge may speak about his/her judicial experiences at a federal legislator’s non-partisan, non-political youth cabinet meeting.

Opinion 19-73 A judge may be the plenary speaker at a non-fund-raising event sponsored by a not-for-profit homelessness services network, where the judge will discuss religious/spiritual issues, mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, and historical/moral progress in community responses to homelessness and will not address funding or government support for the homeless.

Opinion 18-134 A judge may not participate in an interview with a former juror who wishes to write a book about a case over which the judge presided, where related proceedings remain pending or impending.

Opinion 18-132 A full-time judge who presides in criminal cases may participate in an interview with a not-for-profit entity retained by the county legislature to make recommendations concerning jail overcrowding, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 18-127 May a full-time judge attend and participate in an out-of-state conference of tribal judges and allow one of the tribal courts to underwrite his/her travel, lodging, and registration fees?

Opinion 18-126 (1) A full-time judge may not consent to an interview that will be posted exclusively on a private law firm’s website. On learning his/her interview has nonetheless been posted on a law firm’s website, the judge must instruct the firm to remove the post. (2) A judge may not subscribe to a law firm’s blog, even using a personal email address.

Opinion 18-107 May a judge accept an invitation from the US State Department, on behalf of an overseas embassy, to participate in a program designed to promote the integration of women belonging to a certain religious group in the overseas host country and also to promote gender-equality and women’s rights?

Opinion 18-106 A full time court attorney-referee (1) may not teach yoga or meditation classes for a for-profit yoga studio, even if neither the studio nor the referee will benefit financially, but (2) may teach such classes for a not-for-profit organization and may use social media to publicize them.

Opinion 18-61 (1) A judge who attended a private middle school and high school with the assistance of a not-for-profit program that prepares disadvantaged students to attend such schools may be involved in the program’s recruitment efforts just as he/she would for his/her former high school, college, or law school, and therefore may participate in a video recorded interview in which the judge will discuss his/her memories of the program and its impact on his/her career and provide a message to this year’s graduates. (2) The judge may wear judicial robes during the interview but should comply with applicable administrative requirements under Section 29.1 of the Rules of the Chief Judge before permitting any photography or video in the courtroom or chambers. (3) The judge may permit the video to be played at the not-for-profit program’s fund-raiser, provided there is no reference to the judge or the video in advertising the event or in soliciting attendance or contributions. The judge must advise the entity to use the video only for general promotion of the program and/or recruitment of students, but not fund-raising.

Opinion 18-59 May a judge be interviewed by a news station about an alternatives to incarceration program?

Opinion 18-48 May a judge engage in post-screening question and answer sessions and press interviews at film festivals, concerning a documentary film about the judge’s volunteer work?

Opinion 18-34 A full-time quasi-judicial official may not appear on a private law firm’s podcast.

Opinion 17-163/18-03/18-21 Subject to certain limitations, a full-time judge may, without compensation, (1) participate in an interview for a commercially produced television documentary series concerning a case he/she prosecuted over a decade ago, provided the case has completely terminated and no related proceedings are pending or impending; (2) appear occasionally on a commercially produced news program hosted by his/her first-degree relative, to share family-friendly jokes or riddles; and (3) appear on a commercially produced news segment in honor of the achievements of individuals who share a particular racial, ethnic, or cultural background or heritage. In each instance, the judge need not conceal his/her identity as a judge or his/her participation in the program but should not personally promote the program to the public at large.

Opinion 18-20 Subject to any required administrative approvals, a court attorney-referee may, without compensation, independently prepare and produce a noncommercial educational video providing legal information concerning the requirements and procedures for entitlement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. The referee must not refer to his/her quasi-judicial office in the video and must abide by all applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct, including the prohibitions on offering legal advice, advocating particular strategies, and promoting private interests.

Opinion 17-155  A judge may speak about landlord/tenant law at a free educational forum organized by elected officials, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 17-148 May a full-time judge (1) give free legal advice to union members at a union-sponsored event and/or (2) lecture non-lawyer union members on general legal topics at a union-sponsored event?

Opinion 17-117 May a judge permit a non-profit organization to advertise that the judge will be speaking at a non-fund-raising event co-sponsored by several not-for-profit religious and/or educational organizations?

Opinion 17-115 May a full-time judge participate in an educational video production about multi-systemic therapies, produced by a not-for-profit organization that provides such services, where the video is to be used as an engagement and educational tool for families and systems?

Opinion 17-84 May a judge give a regionally exclusive newspaper interview about his/her life story, religious activity, career path and work-life balance?

Opinion 17-83 May a judge speak on the development of a particular area of law in New York State and in other jurisdictions, at a free, non-political event that is open to the public?

Opinion 17-57 May a judge participate in a panel discussion concerning current issues in the prosecution of computer crime in the courts of New York, for an association of criminal investigators?

Opinion 17-54 When giving a speech about the law, the legal system or the administration of justice at a court-sponsored Law Day event, a judge should not publicly criticize or attack a sitting public official, or comment on his/her remarks. Rather, the judge should focus on the law to avoid casting doubt on his/her ability to perform judicial functions appropriately consistent with his/her legal and ethical duties.

Opinion 17-35 May a judge speak to an audience of animal control officers about court procedures in dangerous-dog and unlicensed-dog cases?

Opinion 17-12 May a full-time judge speak to not-for-profit organizations affiliated with a certain religion, including domestic and foreign parochial schools and places of worship, about his/her background and experience in becoming a judge, so as to encourage others to pursue a legal career?  If so, may the judge accept standard speaking fees and reasonable travel expenses?

Opinion 16-147 May a town or village justice accept an invitation from a landlords’ association to participate in a panel discussion and answer questions about summary proceedings, evictions and holdover tenants?

Opinion 16-115 A judge may permit his/her law clerk to teach a class on the Penal Law to law enforcement personnel, provided he/she does so in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary’s impartiality and integrity and does not suggest a predisposition on any particular matter. The law clerk should also be willing to teach a similar course to a defense-side audience, if requested.

Opinion 16-94 ... (3) A judge may lecture on historical constitutional conventions and procedures. 

Opinion 16-69 May a judge serve as master of ceremonies for a not-for-profit community organization's event honoring local religious leaders and a local executive branch official, where "all the proceeds will benefit the youth program"?

Opinion 16-22 A judge may read passages from scripture at a religious service....

Opinion 16-17 A judge who maintains a leadership role in a religious organization may not promote fund-raising activities or otherwise personally participate in soliciting funds or goods for charity, but may promote a non-fund-raising weekend retreat. A judge may not be a featured speaker at a religious institution’s anniversary banquet or permit use of his/her name in the event’s promotional materials when fund-raising will occur before and during the banquet.

Opinion 16-15 May a full-time judge accept an honorarium for giving the "lesson for the day" at a worship service?

Opinion 16-05 A full-time judge may participate in non-commercial podcasts about New York legal issues, or science fiction and comic book characters and legal issues that may arise in fictional works, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct, such as the public comment rule. The judge may be identified as a judge, but his/her participation must not be used to promote or market the podcast.

Opinion 15-179 May a judge give a presentation on recognizing and reducing racial prejudice to an audience consisting exclusively of attorneys who represent a certain category of litigants in a specialized court?

Opinion 15-133 A judge may attend a foreign consulate’s reception for its ambassador and may speak at the consulate about the judge’s personal experiences in becoming a jurist, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 15-125 A judge may speak at an academic conference on the topic of international, federal, and state approaches to human rights issues, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 15-113 A judge may be the introductory speaker at a program focused on discouraging gun violence, provided the program maintains a balance between speakers representing prosecution or law enforcement perspectives and speakers representing defense perspectives.

Opinion 15-92(A) A judge may serve as an officer of his/her religious institution, and may preach a sermon and make administrative announcements, but may not solicit tithes or contributions. The judge may allow his/her sermons to be broadcast via live streaming on the internet.

Opinion 15-79 A judge may publicly participate in a non-fund-raising National Day of Prayer event, lead a prayer, and be identified as a judge.

Opinion 14-196 It would be improper for a judge who presides in medical malpractice cases to accept a private, “in-house” speaking engagement for the board of trustees of a medical facility that regularly appears before the judge.

Opinion 14-35 A full-time judge may discuss the Bill of Rights at a public school teachers’ conference, and accept an honorarium from a not-for-profit organization.

 

Teaching

Opinion 21-57 May a judge accept an invitation to speak as a guest lecturer for a criminal justice course offered through the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES)?

Opinion 20-200 On these facts, a full-time judge may not participate in a proposed not-for-profit corporation that would be exclusively controlled by the judge’s family and would feature the judge as its sole compensated lecturer with a sliding scale of fees.

Opinion 20-96 A part-time judge may serve on a county executive’s working group to review training at the county police academy, where the group’s membership is balanced and its goal is to help reduce and eliminate implicit bias. The judge must, however, be mindful of the need to maintain public confidence in his/her impartiality and must take particular care not to comment on any pending or impending case in the United States or its territories.

Opinion 20-64 May a part-time lawyer judge ... (3) as a full-time college professor, comment on cases, regulations, or politics...?

Opinion 20-31 A judge may teach a law school course based on a now-concluded homicide trial in his/her jurisdiction only if the time for appeals is exhausted and no related matters are pending or reasonably foreseeable. In teaching the class, the judge may only use materials from the public record.

Opinion 19-148(B)...(3) A judge may, as an extra-judicial activity, teach youth court volunteers on both sides about restorative justice issues and court procedures....

Opinion 19-143 A full-time judge may teach law-related classes for compensation at a for-profit college or university, provided such teaching does not conflict with the proper performance of judicial duties.

Opinion 19-14 A full-time judge may participate in a non-partisan, non-law enforcement-oriented initiative to create an anti-bullying program in schools to prevent or reduce JD and PINS behaviors.

Opinion 18-168 May a full-time judge teach at a private law school?

Opinion 18-106 A full time court attorney-referee (1) may not teach yoga or meditation classes for a for-profit yoga studio, even if neither the studio nor the referee will benefit financially, but (2) may teach such classes for a not-for-profit organization and may use social media to publicize them.

Opinion 17-151 A judge may participate in a steering committee that plans an annual educational conference concerning adult abuse, where the conference is unlikely to be perceived as a law enforcement program and the steering committee’s membership includes both defense and prosecutorial perspectives.

Opinion 17-81 May a part-time judge give a presentation on civil enforcement and other related civil matters at an annual training conference for a sheriffs association?

Opinion 16-128 May a judge volunteer to serve as the judge in a mock trial, outside New York State, organized by a private law firm for the benefit of their associates and for in-house attorneys of the law firm's client?

Opinion 16-117 May a full-time judge teach a fitness class for a not-for-profit educational, charitable or civic organization? May the judge accept the organization's standard per-session compensation for instructors?

Opinion 16-93 May a judge place flyers for a not-for-profit bar association's upcoming educational programs on a table in the back of his/her courtroom?

Opinion 16-76 A judge may place promotional materials for a not-for-profit bar association’s upcoming educational programs on a table in the back of the courtroom.

Opinion 15-202 A full-time judge may not participate in a continuing legal education program that (1) is advertised in a way clearly and improperly implying attorneys attending will be placed in a special position to influence the judge and (2) offers an honorarium designed to maximize the number of paying attendees.

Opinion 15-179 May a judge give a presentation on recognizing and reducing racial prejudice to an audience consisting exclusively of attorneys who represent a certain category of litigants in a specialized court?

Opinion 15-149 May a full-time judge serve as a paid, part-time adjunct professor at a private law school?

Opinion 15-93 A judge may serve as a panelist in a local college’s program on perceptions and realities of the criminal justice system, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 15-76 May a judge participate in a bar association CLE program entitled "Social Media Ethics Guidelines for Attorneys" when the panel includes law partners from various law firms?

Opinion 15-61 A judge may not engage in a panel program about his/her recent decision, if the time to appeal has not expired, as the occasion would call for impermissible public comment by the judge; and an attorney who argued the case before the judge is a fellow panelist.

Opinion 15-23 A judge who teaches at a law school, and has no role in a pro bono clinical program organized as a separate legal entity from the law school, may appoint the clinic and its qualified participants to fiduciary positions, and may award appropriate fees as the applicable rules and law permit.

Opinion 14-31 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to lecture, as part of a training program for appellate and trial prosecutors, on effective and ineffective techniques when litigating in the Appellate Division, when only prosecutors and law enforcement personnel will be in attendance?

Opinion 13-187 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to participate in and critique a mock settlement conference to be held as part of a private law firm's associate training program?

Opinion 13-145 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to present a continuing legal education program in the judge’s courtroom in conjunction with a local Bar Association where the for-profit co-sponsor is potentially a fiduciary in one of the judge’s cases?

 

Mentoring

Opinion 20-55 A full-time judge ... (3) may mentor high school students through a program organized by a not-for-profit chamber of commerce.

Opinion 18-18 A judge may accompany students to the criminal trial of an individual who is charged with assaulting them, in his/her capacity as their official mentor, provided the judge (1) sits in the audience, (2) does not act as an attorney in the matter, (3) does not have any ex parte contact with the presiding judge, and (4) does not refer to or invoke his/her judicial status or otherwise lend the prestige of judicial office to the students.

Opinion 16-177 (1) A part-time judge may volunteer with a departmental grievance committee's diversion program as a mentor/monitor for an attorney referred to substance abuse treatment. The judge must disqualify him/herself in matters involving the attorney while the relationship is ongoing and for two years thereafter. During this period, disqualification is not subject to remittal unless the attorney waives confidentiality.  (2) A part-time judge may volunteer with a bar association's lawyer assistance committee to encourage attorneys to participate in a 12-step recovery program or seek substance abuse counseling. Where the contacts are relatively minimal and occur exclusively in a group setting with other recovering attorneys, disqualification is not mandatory unless (a) the attorney asks the judge to recuse and/or (b) the judge doubts his/her ability to be fair and impartial. The judge must also advise the attorney that he/she will recuse on request, without explanation, if the attorney is uncomfortable with the judge presiding over a particular case as a result of the 12-step call.

Opinion 16-151 (1) A judge may establish a judicial mentoring program to help promote diversity in the judiciary, which will pair sitting or retired judges with attorneys who wish to seek judicial office. (2) A mentor judge may review and comment on an attorney mentee’s application to a judicial screening panel, and may share his/her own experience in going through the elective or appointive process to become a judge, but may not contact political party leaders or others on the mentee’s behalf. (3) The mentor judge must exercise particular caution to avoid any perception of involvement in impermissible political activity both before and after the mentee publicly declares his/her candidacy for election to judicial office. Therefore, the mentor judge must not advise his/her mentee on campaign strategy, campaign literature or other outreach to voters or political leaders. (4) A fully retired judge, who is not designated as a judicial hearing officer or otherwise performing judicial functions with the court system, is not subject to these limitations.

Opinion 16-124 A judge may mentor a high school student through a not-for-profit mentorship program, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 16-34 A full-time judge may participate as one of several panelists and mentors at a free luncheon for young people of a particular minority group, where the event’s philanthropic purposes are clear, the judge’s participation will not be used for promotional purposes, and the commercial sponsor has assured the judge in writing that no commercial activity whatsoever will take place at the event.

Opinion 15-222 May a judge make a charitable donation to help establish a new mentoring program for at-risk youth sponsored by certain county public defenders?

Opinion 14-181 A judge may not serve as a mentor to a teenager who has recently appeared before the judge as the respondent in a Persons in Need of Supervision truancy proceeding.

Opinion 12-149 A trial judge may critique a trial attorney’s performance, subject to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, provided the judge offers the trial attorney’s adversary the same or similar learning opportunity.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Judge as Artist, Writer, Musician, Inventor

Opinion 21-117 A judge may write a book review for a legal textbook and may retain the reviewed book in their personal library.

Opinion 21-71 A full-time judge may author a chapter of a book concerned with the creation of lasting reforms in the area of child welfare in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Opinion 21-61 A full-time judge (1) may contribute case vignettes and legal commentary to a for-profit casebook on mental capacity, provided the vignettes do not disclose parties' names and the commentary is consistent with the public comment rule and other limitations, but (2) may not recommend others to contribute to the casebook.

Opinion 21-53 A full-time judge may volunteer as an editor for a not-for-profit poetry journal.

Opinion 21-52 May a full-time judge, who is also a poet by avocation, share their poetry at free online creative arts panels, organized by non-commercial entities, and accept an honorarium from them?

Opinion 21-51 A full-time judge may accept a grant from a not-for-profit arts services organization and use it, to the extent legally permissible, to rent space for and/or provide honoraria to poets, in order to provide free poetry readings to the community.

Opinion 20-136 A judge may write and submit an opinion article to a legal publication outlining what the judge considers flaws in an instrument that judges are currently required to use to assess the potential risk of re-offense.

Opinion 20-102 A full-time judge may obtain a patent and license it to another.

Opinion 20-85 A judge may write and post a book review online, provided it is not for the purpose of promoting the book's sale. The judge must not authorize use of the review on the book jacket or elsewhere to promote sales of the book.

Opinion 20-59 May a full-time judge a full-time judge publish his/her autobiography, and name specific out-of-state doctors or medical entities the judge credits for helping him/her recover from life-threatening medical conditions? May the judge participate in an audiotaped interview and radio program, organized by the publisher, to promote the book?

Opinion 19-101 A full-time judge who has written a law book may permit his/her volunteer assistant to reach out to a relative’s contact at a newspaper for the legal community to ask if they would be interested in reviewing or mentioning the judge’s book.

Opinion 19-09 A full-time judge may take a multi-week improvisational comedy class from a for-profit entity, but may not perform in the graduation show, which charges admission. Additionally, the judge may perform a first-person story about his/her childhood or cultural background only if the entity producing the event is a non-profit and the show is not a fund-raiser. The analysis does not change if the judge performs anonymously and/or uses a pseudonym.

Opinion 18-93 A full-time judge who developed a bar exam study aid and makes it available on an online app store may (1) associate his/her name with the app itself; (2) mention his/her judicial status in an online bio; (3) speak with law school administrators and students about their interest in obtaining the app; and (4) accept income from online sales of the app, subject to reporting requirements.

Opinion 18-47 A full-time judge may participate in a free community performance of The Vagina Monologues by reading short factual/introductory paragraphs. However, if the judge participates in any question-and-answer session with the audience, he/she must abide by all applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 17-11 A full-time judge may perform with a non-profit orchestra and other musical groups that are not business entities and accept reasonable compensation for his/her performances, subject to certain limitations. A full-time judge may publish his/her own musical compositions and receive royalties and performance rights fees for them.

Opinion 16-37 May a full-time judge enter into an option/purchase agreement with a film producer, for a screenplay the judge wrote?

Opinion 16-06 May a full-time judge who wrote a children's book: participate in book signings; spread the news that the book has been published; give away complimentary copies of the book; tell people, on request, where the book may be purchased; permit the publisher to mention the judge's judicial status; appear in judicial robes on the book's back cover; and/or read the book at an elementary school? Do any special restrictions apply because the work is a children's book rather than a law-related book?

Opinion 15-182 May a judge who wrote and published a law-related book go on a book tour, where the judge will conduct book signings and speak at bookstores, law schools, and bar associations in New York and elsewhere, and permit copies of the book to be available for purchase at such events? May the judge permit a commercial television producer to make a television series based on the judge's book for a commercial television station? If so, may the judge serve as a host for the television series or be interviewed for the series?

Opinion 15-162 May a law clerk who serves as a SCAR Hearing Officer (1) write and publish a children's book with a commercial publisher public and accept royalties and/or (2) personally market and sell the book?

Opinion 15-141 May a full-time judge co-author a treatise on a specialized area of law and accept royalties from the sales of the book?

Opinion 15-17 May a judge play in a band, which usually performs without pay, at charitable events, block parties and parties for friends?

Opinion 14-37 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to write articles about legal procedure for quarterly publication in a local newspaper with limited circulation?

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Judge as Officer, Director, or Non-Legal Advisor of a Non-Profit

Opinion 22-15(C) A full-time judge may not serve on the executive or governing body of their church while there is a pending Child Victims Act claim against the church.

Opinion 21-179 A full-time judge (1) may serve on the board of a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower people with disabilities to live as independently as possible and works with criminal justice organizations to improve public safety and the delivery of justice but (2) may not serve on the legislative taskforce of a not-for-profit organization that seeks to develop independent living spaces for individuals with disabilities.

Opinion 21-166 Although a full-time judge may serve on the board of trustees of a not-for-profit private school, the judge (1) may not serve on the board’s audit/risk committee, (2) may not solicit a legal opinion from an attorney on behalf of the board, and (3) may not negotiate a discounted fee with an attorney or law firm for legal services to the school.

Opinion 21-161 On the facts presented, a part-time judge may not serve on the board of a reentry services organization that engages in advocacy and takes positions on controversial issues.

Opinion 21-136 A full-time judge may not serve as an advisory board member of a recovery center and youth clubhouse affiliated with a CASA program, for which the inquiring judge makes referrals as the county-wide substance abuse treatment court.

Opinion 21-124 A full-time judge may serve as a "fire officer" or "trustee" for a not-for-profit volunteer fire department, provided the position does not confer peace officer or police officer status, does not involve investigative responsibilities or working with law enforcement, and does not involve the judge with fund-raising.

Opinion 21-118 May a full-time judge serve on a community advisory committee for a religiously affiliated not-for-profit nursing home?

Opinion 21-115 A family court judge may not accept an appointment to the Judicial Leadership Council of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem Association for Children nor permit the organization to "promote" the judge on social media and its website.

Opinion 21-112 A part-time town justice may serve as "Judge Advocate" for the American Legion.

Opinion 21-109 May a full-time judge serve on the board of directors of a local not-for-profit organization which provides educational programs to children and adults with autism?

Opinion 21-103 May a full-time judge serve on the board of councilors for a not-for-profit private law school in another state?

Opinion 21-80 A part-time judge who is the secretary/treasurer of a not-for-profit volunteer fire company may also serve as the organization’s point of contact to provide factual and financial information for its Federal Emergency Management Agency grant application.

Opinion 21-79 May a judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit educational organization with a primary focus on educating first responders, parents and teachers on how to interact with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and/or their care givers in crisis situations?

Opinion 21-55 May a part-time judge serve on a committee to investigate sexual harassment claims against an individual who is a member of the same worldwide not-for-profit service organization?

Opinion 21-47 A full-time judge may serve as president of a not-for-profit organization that supports a branch of the United States military through education, community outreach, and youth programs and by providing programs and services for certain military personnel and their families.

Opinion 21-43 May a judge sit on the board of a local human rights commission, which is involved in investigating, conciliating, and adjudicating employment, housing, public accommodation and credit discrimination claims?

Opinion 20-212 A full-time judge may not serve on the advisory board of the Center for Court Innovation, given that the Center regularly provides program alternatives to detention and incarceration for criminal defendants.

Opinion 20-199 A judge may be a regular member of a not-for-profit civic entity, organized by local homeowners, that seeks zoning changes in the judge’s neighborhood, but may not serve on its board of trustees or otherwise be involved in the entity’s leadership.

Opinion 20-174 A full-time judge ... (2) may not chair certain local hospital entities, where their only function is fund-raising; (3) may serve as a trustee of private not-for-profit foundations which make grants to other not-for-profit organizations and accept a nominal annual director's fee, subject to the limitations on compensation for permissible extra-judicial activities; and (4) may serve as a compensated trustee of a not-for-profit cemetery association that oversees the cemetery's endowment and makes expenditures to maintain the cemetery, subject to the limitations on compensation for permissible extra-judicial activities.

Opinion 20-168 A full-time judge may serve on a bar association’s internal nominating committee, to consider and recommend individuals who are seeking board and officer seats within the bar association.

Opinion 20-142 May a full-time judge serve on the general board of a religious denomination, which has “primary authority with regard to non-ecclesiastical policies and plans” of the denomination?

Opinion 20-137 A part-time judge may serve on the board of a not-for-profit emergency medical services organization, where the position is not subject to public election, does not involve any peace officer status or investigative roles, and is not likely to be seen as intertwined with law enforcement functions.

Opinion 20-128 On these facts, it is the obligation of the judge who wishes to be a member or leader in a not-for-profit entity to determine if it invidiously discriminates, engages in partisan political activity, or will insert the judge unnecessarily into public controversy.

Opinion 20-116 A full-time judge may serve on the board of “location and building” for a not-for-profit religious organization, where the position involves no fund-raising responsibilities.

Opinion 20-109 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit organization involved in supporting the historic preservation of buildings, making recommendations for the establishment of historical districts, granting support for rehabilitation projects, and providing loans to other organizations with similar goals?

Opinion 20-103 May a full-time quasi-judicial official serve on the board of a local bar association’s charitable foundation?

Opinion 20-81(C) A part-time judge may not serve on the board of ASISTA.

Opinion 20-81(A) A judge … (2) may serve on the advisory board of a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preservation of a historic theater, subject to certain limitations; … (4) may join a not-for-profit organization’s board to review scholarship applications from, and award scholarships to, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigrants.

Opinion 20-77 A full-time judge may serve on a not-for-profit advisory board that will make recommendations about funding local entities in serious economic jeopardy, provided his/her involvement is limited to reviewing and making recommendations on applications from not-for-profit entities that are not likely to appear before him/her.

Opinion 20-74 A judge may serve on board of directors for a not-for-profit private school.

Opinion 20-71 A judge may serve on the board of directors of a regional chapter of the Polish American Congress.

Opinion 20-47 May a judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit arts foundation that reviews grant applications and awards grants to promote performing arts?

Opinion 20-46 A judge may not serve on the board of a not-for-profit entity whose sole purpose is to raise funds for a foreign educational institution.

Opinion 20-45 A full-time judge may serve on the board of a not-for-profit entity that runs community-based health care facilities, provided it and its affiliated hospital are not likely to be engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court.

Opinion 20-23 A judge who is on a not-for-profit organization’s board of directors may be listed on the organization’s fund-raising invitation along with all other directors, in the same manner in which his/her name is listed on the organization’s website.

Opinion 20-14 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit entity in another state, where the entity’s mission is to promote “positive mental health outcomes in our oftentimes overwhelming digital landscape,” through educational school-based initiatives, public awareness campaigns and training for mental health professionals and educators?

Opinion 19-151 A part-time judge may serve ... (3) as a volunteer enterprise risk management chair of the local Boy Scout district, where the position involves ordinary health and safety risks in normal scouting activities...

Opinion 19-141 May a full-time judge serve as president of a bar foundation that “focuses on the management and distribution of grants for programs devoted to providing [local] legal services”?

Opinion 19-136 A full-time judge may serve on the board of a not-for profit performing arts center, even if a government official appoints him/her.

Opinion 19-131 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit entity "which provides art services to the disabled by providing occupational therapy activities such as classes and workshops" in various arts?

Opinion 19-122 A full-time judge may not serve as a board member or non-legal advisor of a not-for-profit organization that receives court appointments and provides guardianship services and attorney representation.

Opinion 19-105 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit organization that “advocates for effective policies and drives evidence-based solutions for the health, education and success of children”?

Opinion 19-86 May a full-time judge serve as the chair of a strategic planning committee for a private not-for-profit school his/her children attend?

Opinion 19-77 A part-time judge who serves on a historical society’s board of directors may participate in an audit review process of the organization’s records.

Opinion 19-55 (1) A full-time judge may serve as officer or director of a bar foundation that provides financial aid to individual attorneys in personal and professional crisis, although the judge must not personally participate in fund-raising or permit judicial prestige to be used for fund-raising purposes. (2) The judge may preside in matters involving attorneys receiving assistance from the foundation, where the judge’s contacts with them are relatively minimal and occur exclusively through a liaison who presents the case to the board. Disqualification is not mandatory unless (a) the attorney asks the judge to recuse him/herself or (b) the judge doubts his/her ability to be fair and impartial. The attorney must be advised that the judge will recuse on request, without explanation, if the attorney is uncomfortable with the judge presiding over a particular case as a result of the attorney’s participation in the foundation.

Opinion 19-36 A full-time judge may not serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit credit union that regularly appears in adversary proceedings.

Opinion 19-30 Once a not-for-profit land trust becomes involved in a controversial contested agency proceeding affecting local conserved lands, a judge may not serve as its officer or director, but may still be a regular member provided he/she does not comment on the agency proceedings or otherwise publicly associate him/herself with the land trust’s positions on matters of public controversy.

Opinion 18-178 May a judge serve on the board of a local mental health transitional housing not-for-profit entity that provides services to individuals, who participate voluntarily, some of whom may have had or will have contact with the criminal justice system?

Opinion 18-166 May a full-time judge serve on the board of directors of the not-for-profit Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD), an organization that does not accept referrals from the courts or regularly engage in litigation in any court?

Opinion 18-100 A judge who appoints CASA to provide information on cases pending before the court may not serve as a member of CASA’s advisory board.

Opinion 18-90 (1) A judge may be on the board of a non-profit ambulance corporation seeking to create an ambulance district, but must resign if one is created. (2) As a board member, the judge: (a) must not partake in the corporation’s program about a proposed ambulance district; (b) may attend the event as an observer; and (c) may be publicly identified as a board member during the event, with other board members, and may be identified as a judge if similar titles identify other members.

Opinion 18-71 May a support magistrate continue to serve as an appointed trustee on his/her local board of education?

Opinion 18-54 Where a not-for-profit entity provides detailed biographies of both directors on a website, the listing of the judge's name and the heading of the judge's biography may include the judge's judicial title if the listing and heading of the other director's biography includes his/her comparable title.

Opinion 18-44(C) A part-time judge may volunteer with a not-for-profit sports booster club by serving as an officer or director and/or by assisting the organization in planning fund-raising but (1) must not personally solicit funds, (2) must not permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, and (3) must not permit his/her name to appear as the author or signatory on any fund-raising letter or as spokesperson in other solicitations.

Opinion 18-40 A full-time judge (1) may serve on the board of a county’s assigned counsel program, where the program does not engage in litigation but instead contracts with private attorneys to undertake the representations; (2) may appoint qualified attorneys as assigned counsel in legally appropriate circumstances, even when those attorneys are his/her fellow directors; (3) may not serve on the board of a not-for-profit landlord that brings eviction proceedings in his/her court.

Opinion 18-39 A full-time judge may serve on the board of trustees of a not-for-profit firefighters museum, and his/her judicial title may appear on the entity’s letterhead if similar titles appear with other board members. He/she may not use the prestige of judicial office to raise funds or solicit members.

Opinion 17-154 May a town justice serve as president of a local, private not-for-profit cemetery in the town where he/she presides?

Opinion 17-151 A judge may participate in a steering committee that plans an annual educational conference concerning adult abuse, where the conference is unlikely to be perceived as a law enforcement program and the steering committee’s membership includes both defense and prosecutorial perspectives.

Opinion 17-134 (1) May a judge serve as a director, board member or president of a domestic not-for-profit corporation, which seeks tax exempt status, to help promote women into leadership positions "across all fields of endeavor"? May he/she educate others within the organization about how to raise funds?

Opinion 17-131 May a judge participate in an interview with a not-for-profit entity which provides mediation services in a court where the judge formerly presided?

Opinion 17-51 May a full-time judge serve on the board of the not-for-profit religious community center that runs the school the judge's children attend?

Opinion 17-39 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advises governmental policymakers nationwide on criminal justice measures affecting public safety?

Opinion 16-179 A judge may not serve as director of an entity if that role requires him/her to personally engage in fund-raising and/or recruitment activities.

Opinion 16-161 A full-time judge may serve on the admissions committee of a country club, assuming the club is non-profit, does not regularly engage in litigation, and does not invidiously discriminate, and provided that the judge’s service on the committee will not involve her/him in fund-raising, providing legal advice, or making decisions likely to lead to litigation.

Opinion 16-148 May a full-time judge serve as a director of a local not-for-profit Urban League, which seeks “[t]o provide opportunities for members of all communities in our city to have access to education, employment and a living environment that fosters mutual respect”?

Opinion 16-98 May a full-time judge serve on (1) the Executive Committee of a private not-for-profit elementary school's board of trustees and/or (2) a search committee to hire a new head of the school?

Opinion 16-51 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a not-for-profit community economic development corporation?

Opinion 16-40 May a judge who is a member and officer of a specialized bar association sign the association's certificate of incorporation?

Opinion 15-229 May a judge serve as president or vice-president of a bar association?

Opinion 15-219 Where a judge appears on a not-for-profit organization’s regular letterhead as a board member, the judge may also permit the organization to include his/her name along with other board members on the organization’s fund-raising invitations, as long as the content of the list is the same, even if the formatting is not identical, unless the specific formatting reasonably creates an impression that the board members collectively and/or the judge individually are personally soliciting funds or personally inviting people to attend the fund-raiser.

Opinion 15-213 May a judge serve as a board member and secretary for a not-for-profit charity that provides services to underprivileged children and families, where the charity does not appear in the judge's court but employs social workers who appear in another court and who meet with that court's resource coordinators from time to time?

Opinion 15-201 A full-time judge who presides in a drug treatment court may serve on the advisory board of a not-for-profit community action organization which educates and assists addicts and their families, provided the judge does not give legal advice to or fund-raise for the organization and does not have the opportunity to make referrals to the organization. While serving on the advisory board, the judge is disqualified, subject to remittal, in matters where the organization appears. If such service results in excessive disqualifications, the judge must resign from the advisory board.

Opinion 15-190 A judge may not serve on the board of a not-for-profit agency that offers traffic safety education programs to which the judge may make referrals.

Opinion 15-171 Subject to certain limitations, a full-time judge may serve as (1) an officer for a not-for-profit fraternal organization’s local chapter, (2) a non-legal advisor to the organization’s officers, committees, and members on matters of parliamentary procedure, and (3) chair of the organization’s scholarship committee. A judge may not raise funds for this entity by selling raffle tickets to friends, but may sell raffle tickets to family without reference to his/her judicial position.

Opinion 15-149 May a full-time judge (1) serve on the board of a private, not-for-profit school that the judge's child attends; serve on the school's audit committee; serve on the school's academic affairs committee; and/or (2) serve on the board of directors of the judge's condominium?

Opinion 15-92(A) A judge may serve as an officer of his/her religious institution, and may preach a sermon and make administrative announcements, but may not solicit tithes or contributions. The judge may allow his/her sermons to be broadcast via live streaming on the internet.

Opinion 15-15 Subject to certain limitations, a full-time judge may serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit local development corporation.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Governmental Committees and Commissions; Public Office or Trust; Notary Public

(22 NYCRR 100.4[C][2]; NY Const art VI, 20[b][1])

Impermissible for All (Full- or Part-Time)

Opinion 21-43 May a judge sit on the board of a local human rights commission, which is involved in investigating, conciliating, and adjudicating employment, housing, public accommodation and credit discrimination claims?

Opinion 20-183 May a town justice serve on their town’s “Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” which was formed in response to the Governor’s Executive Order 203?

Opinion 20-121 It is improper for a judge to serve on a county legislature's task force, where the judge's proposed involvement seems to immerse the judge in helping the probation department implement its programs or internal policies, and the legislature has not mandated judicial branch participation.

Opinion 20-112 Where multiple high-profile, racially-charged incidents of police violence have resulted in ongoing or reasonably foreseeable litigation and intense local and national controversy, a judge may not participate in an initiative designed to (a) promote trust and open dialogue between activists and police concerning those incidents and/or (b) recommend changes to current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices. [NOTE: This opinion addresses Executive Order 203.]

Opinion 19-41 A judge may not serve on an advisory committee that makes recommendations to the District Attorney regarding a convicted offender’s application to vacate a prior conviction, even if the judge will not be personally identified in the recommendation and the DA maintains full authority over his/her response to the application before the court.

Opinion 19-38 A part-time judge may not serve as a fire investigator in the same county where he/she presides.

Opinion 07-155/98-31 A judge may not serve on a charter review commission to review and proposed amendments to a city or county charter.

Part-Time Judges, JHOs, and SCAR Hearing Officers

Opinion 20-194 A part-time judge may serve on a county's criminal justice council, which will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the criminal justice system and seek cooperative solutions where possible.

Opinion 20-162 A part-time judge may serve on a subcommittee concerning the establishment of a county-wide centralized arraignment part, even where that subcommittee was created by a task force on which the judge cannot serve due to its apparent immersion in probation department programs or internal policies. The judge may also share their experience conducting off-hours virtual arraignments.

Opinion 20-147 May a judge participate in an exploratory committee formed by the Public Defender and the District Attorney to consider the possible creation of a district court system in the judge’s county?

Opinion 20-134 May a town justice serve on the review planning board for the same town in which they preside?

Opinion 20-96 A part-time judge may serve on a county executive’s working group to review training at the county police academy, where the group’s membership is balanced and its goal is to help reduce and eliminate implicit bias. The judge must, however, be mindful of the need to maintain public confidence in his/her impartiality and must take particular care not to comment on any pending or impending case in the United States or its territories.

Opinion 20-50 A part-time town judge may serve on the town’s board of assessment review and its strictly advisory historical preservation commission, subject to disqualification in any matters involving these entities or their determinations or recommendations.

Opinion 20-11 May a town justice accept an appointment by the town board to serve on the board of a not-for-profit local development corporation, funded by tax revenue from the local power facility?

Opinion 19-151 A part-time judge may serve (1) in an appointive position on the county’s emergency medical services advisory board, (2) as assistant chief of the local not-for-profit volunteer fire department elected solely by the organization’s members, where the position does not involve peace officer status or any investigative responsibilities...

Opinion 19-147 A part-time judge may serve on the local tourism board, whose function is to take “all reasonable steps” to promote the city, provided the judge does not solicit funds or use the prestige of the office for that purpose.

Opinion 19-134 May a part-time judge accept an appointment to serve on the county's solid waste board?

Opinion 19-103 May a Judicial Hearing Officer serve as a member of a Town Board of Ethics, which has the power and duty to dispose of sworn complaints, conduct investigations and hearings, recommend disciplinary action, and assess penalties?

Opinion 19-68 A part-time judge may serve on a town's ad hoc committee to establish a process to determine which privately owned real properties may be sold to another governmental entity, provided the issues do not become matters of substantial public controversy.

Opinion 18-183 A town justice may serve on a committee that examines and reviews laws in relation to the merger of another municipality into his/her town.

Opinion 17-96 A JHO may serve on the advisory council for the housing part, which evaluates applicants and makes recommendations to the Chief Administrative Judge’s regarding housing court judges’ appointments.

Opinion 15-134 A full-time principal law clerk who is a part-time SCAR hearing officer ... (2) may apply for and become a notary public...

Opinion 15-123 A part-time judge may become a member of a governmental advisory committee on services for senior citizens, but may not personally participate in the solicitation of funds or personally request non-members to solicit such funds.

Full-Time Judges and Full-Time Quasi-Judicial Officials

 

Opinion 22-06 A full-time judge may volunteer as a rescue diver for a county’s water rescue/scuba team, where the dive team members are not county employees and are not concerned with issues of fact or policy. However, the judge’s judicial duties must take precedence over this extra-judicial activity.

Opinion 21-129 A full-time judge may serve on an ad hoc interview committee for a public school district for any position that is currently open.

Opinion 21-70 A full-time judge may accept an appointment to serve on the search committee for the dean of a law school that is financially supported primarily by New York State or one of its political subdivisions, even if the prior dean’s tenure or departure was controversial.

Opinion 21-62 A full-time judge may not offer their services to a congressperson to help establish, and thereafter serve on, a non-partisan service academy review board, which will (a) review the applications of those seeking the congressperson’s nomination to one of the service academies, and (b) make recommendations to the congressperson as to who should receive a nomination and in what order.

Opinion 21-38 May a full-time judge serve on a municipal community board?

Opinion 20-204 On assuming full-time judicial office, must a new judge relinquish the office of notary public?

Opinion 20-169 May a Surrogate serve as trustee of a local community college?

Opinion 20-147 May a judge participate in an exploratory committee formed by the Public Defender and the District Attorney to consider the possible creation of a district court system in the judge’s county?

Opinion 20-146 A full-time judge may not accept appointment to a federal health agency’s advisory council focused on improving public health among minority populations.

Opinion 20-119 A full-time judge may serve on the advisory board to a local public charter school, where the advisory board is separate and apart from the school’s board of directors and is not responsible for the school’s operations or budget.

Opinion 19-146 (1) A full-time judge may not serve as an advisor to the U.S. President on disability programs and services nor on an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2) The judge may meet with federal executive branch officials on his/her own behalf to discuss his/her experiences as a disabled individual, subject to certain limitations.

Opinion 18-168 May a full time judge serve on an executive branch official’s committee concerning a new detention facility?

Opinion 18-144 A full-time judge may participate in a task force primarily concerned with issues of fact and policy connected to public health and safety if the task force is sponsored by a not-for-profit organization, and is not itself a governmental committee or commission or other governmental position.

Opinion 18-60 A full-time judge may serve on a governmental task force to help address impacts of closing a prison facility, where its members represent a broad spectrum of interests and the task force will focus on planning for an orderly transition rather than fielding complaints.

Opinion 17-91 May a full-time city court judge accept appointment by the county health commissioner to serve an unpaid hearing officer under the Public Health Law to adjudicate a certain category of health-related violations?

Opinion 16-157 May a full-time judge serve on the board of a regional emergency medical services council?

Opinion 16-105 A judge subject to article VI, section 20 of the state constitution may not sign a separate oath of office for a county legislature’s law-related advisory board without an opinion from OCA’s Counsel’s Office advising the oath’s execution is legally permissible.

Opinion 15-203 May a full-time judge who presides in a treatment court serve on a legislator's advisory committee on drug abuse?

Opinion 15-200 Whether a full-time judge may serve in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps raises legal questions the Committee may not address.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Fund-Raising; In-Kind Solicitations; Membership Solicitation; Speaker or Guest of Honor at Fund-Raiser

Opinion 22-15(B) (1) A judge may not raise funds from friends, neighbors, or acquaintances, but may create an online fund-raising tool if it will be used only to solicit donations from family members. 

Opinion 21-115 A family court judge may not accept an appointment to the Judicial Leadership Council of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem Association for Children nor permit the organization to "promote" the judge on social media and its website.

Opinion 21-75 A judge may speak at a bar association’s fund-raising event and introduce a video concerning a particular bar association initiative, even though others will solicit funds for that specific initiative in the course of the evening, provided that the judge does not personally solicit funds.

Opinion 21-34 (1) A judge may solicit other judges to join, or renew their memberships in, a local bar association, but may not similarly solicit attorneys or other non-judges. (2) A full-time judge may not serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit senior housing development that is likely to regularly engage in adversarial litigation in any court.

Opinion 21-31 A judge may not provide a biographical video for use in a not-for-profit organization’s social media campaign, where the required release and the overall context create an impression that the judge’s video will be used to promote the organization and its gala fund-raising event.

Opinion 20-203 May a judge volunteer as a “bell ringer” for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, if the judge’s name, title and participation are not identified or announced?

Opinion 20-190 A judge who objected orally and in writing to the appearance of their name in an email soliciting funds for a charitable cause need not take any further action.

Opinion 20-184 May a multi-bench judge accept an award for domestic violence awareness month in their capacity as a treatment court judge, from a not-for-profit legal advocacy group that sometimes appears before the judge in family court?

Opinion 20-174 A full-time judge may not chair certain local hospital entities, where their only function is fund-raising.

Opinion 20-171 May a judge make a temporary change in their personal appearance to help raise awareness of the need for cancer research?

Opinion 20-132 A judge who donates to a fund established to create and install a public monument honoring a federal judge may also solicit co-equal judicial colleagues to contribute. The judges’ names and titles may be listed with other contributors on a plaque erected with the statue. The judge must not solicit participation from non-judges or any judges over whom he/she may have supervisory or appellate authority.

Opinion 20-91 May a judge accept an unadvertised award at a not-for-profit organization’s fund-raising dinner and briefly express his/her thanks?

Opinion 20-81(A) A judge … (3) may not create or participate in a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for a charitable cause, where the judge’s involvement would not remain strictly behind-the-scenes in planning fund-raising but instead would be used to promote the campaign.

Opinion 20-62 May a judge serve as Stewardship Co-Chair for his/her house of worship?

Opinion 20-57 May a judge perform the role of a judge in a theatrical performance to raise funds for his/her house of worship?

Opinion 20-23 A judge who is on a not-for-profit organization’s board of directors may be listed on the organization’s fund-raising invitation along with all other directors, in the same manner in which his/her name is listed on the organization’s website.

Opinion 19-108 May a judge solicit funds from other judges in the Judicial District, over whom he/she has no supervisory or appellate authority, for a “Wellness Fund” to be used by the local Wellness Committee to fund social events for judges and employees to promote workplace collegiality and a positive work environment?

Opinion 19-18 A judge may serve as "internal coordinator" of a multitask capital improvement committee for his/her house of worship, and may assist in planning fund-raising, if the judge does not personally solicit funds, does not permit use of his/her name or the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, and does not appear as the author, signatory or spokesperson in fund-raising materials. The judge may solicit other congregation members to serve the committee, may schedule and notify committee members of meeting details, and may ask the committee members to solicit donations. If the judge donates to the project, his/her name and donation amount may be published with other donors, without mention of the judge's committee role.

Opinion 18-151 A town justice may not chair the membership committee of the town’s volunteer fire department.

Opinion 18-146 Need a judge take further steps besides objecting orally and in writing, withdrawing from participation as honoree, and requesting notification of invitees, after discovering a parade committee used his/her name, without his/her knowledge or consent, to solicit journal ads to raise funds for an upcoming holiday parade and celebration?

Opinion 18-98 On learning that his/her name and photograph were used to promote a church fund-raiser, a judge objected orally and in writing; the event was subsequently canceled. Need the judge take any further action?

Opinion 18-91 May a judge accept a “[man/woman] of the year” award from a fraternal organization at the entity’s annual dinner? How can the judge determine whether or not it is a fund-raiser?

Opinion 18-61 (1) A judge who attended a private middle school and high school with the assistance of a not-for-profit program that prepares disadvantaged students to attend such schools may be involved in the program’s recruitment efforts just as he/she would for his/her former high school, college, or law school, and therefore may participate in a video recorded interview in which the judge will discuss his/her memories of the program and its impact on his/her career and provide a message to this year’s graduates. (2) The judge may wear judicial robes during the interview but should comply with applicable administrative requirements under Section 29.1 of the Rules of the Chief Judge before permitting any photography or video in the courtroom or chambers. (3) The judge may permit the video to be played at the not-for-profit program’s fund-raiser, provided there is no reference to the judge or the video in advertising the event or in soliciting attendance or contributions. The judge must advise the entity to use the video only for general promotion of the program and/or recruitment of students, but not fund-raising.

Opinion 18-53 A trial judge may coordinate a raffle (assuming its lawfulness) at a magistrates’ association training program to raise money from other co-equal judges over whom he/she has no supervisory authority, to purchase commemorative plaques for display at local court facilities.

Opinion 18-44(C) A part-time judge may volunteer with a not-for-profit sports booster club by serving as an officer or director and/or by assisting the organization in planning fund-raising but (1) must not personally solicit funds, (2) must not permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, and (3) must not permit his/her name to appear as the author or signatory on any fund-raising letter or as spokesperson in other solicitations.

Opinion 18-44(B) A judge may not sell items at a not-for-profit organization’s concession stand at a sporting event but may participate in food preparation and other behind-the-scenes activities related to operating the concession stand.

Opinion 18-05 A judge must not chair a Red Cross blood drive or solicit blood donors.

Opinion 17-174 A judge may sing the national anthem at a not-for-profit organization's fund-raiser, provided the judge's participation is unannounced and ancillary to the event.

Opinion 17-124 May a judge be the announced speaker for the annual tea party of a certain chapter of a not-for-profit charitable entity, where the tea party includes an advertised raffle/auction in an adjacent room?

Opinion 17-106 May a quasi-judicial official, whose young child has significant developmental and physical limitations, seek financial help and services offered by not-for-profit organizations for the benefit of such children and their families?

Opinion 17-78 Under the circumstances, a judge who objected orally and in writing to the appearance of his/her name in a letter soliciting funds for a charity need not take any further action.

Opinion 17-59 A judge who declined his/her college alma mater's invitation to be an honorary co-chair of a fund-raising event and, after receiving the printed invitation listing the judge as a co-chair, objected in writing and requested a retraction, is not obligated to take any further steps. The judge may attend the event, where doing so will create no appearance of impropriety.

Opinion 17-55 A judge may not directly or indirectly solicit property owners, car rental agencies, or food merchants on behalf of the Red Cross. However, the judge may use his/her skills as a logistics expert to plan and to manage supplies or donations as they are received and may also purchase items for disaster relief with a donated debit card, provided the judge does not solicit such a card. These principles apply without geographic limitation.

Opinion 16-153 (1) A trial judge whose minor child is participating in a charitable fund-raiser may personally solicit funds from family members and fellow judges not subject to his/her supervision, provided he/she does not use or invoke his/her judicial title or status in doing so. (2) A judge may not personally solicit funds from friends or neighbors. (3) A judge may, in his/her capacity as a parent, accompany his/her minor child as the child solicits funds from friends or neighbors, but may not otherwise assist or participate in the solicitation.

Opinion 16-152 A judge may not appear in a videotaped interview on behalf of a re-entry agency, which will be shown at the agency's fund-raising event.

Opinion 16-136 A judge, about to retire fully from the Unified Court System, may agree to be the guest of honor at a not-for-profit entity’s fund-raising dinner that will take place after his/her retirement, provided the judge’s participation is not announced or publicized until after his/her retirement is effective.

Opinion 16-69 May a judge serve as master of ceremonies for a not-for-profit community organization's event honoring local religious leaders and a local executive branch official, where "all the proceeds will benefit the youth program"?

Opinion 16-17 A judge who maintains a leadership role in a religious organization may not promote fund-raising activities or otherwise personally participate in soliciting funds or goods for charity, but may promote a non-fund-raising weekend retreat. A judge may not be a featured speaker at a religious institution’s anniversary banquet or permit use of his/her name in the event’s promotional materials when fund-raising will occur before and during the banquet.

Opinion 16-04 May a judge participate in a bar association's membership drive and recruit new attorney members with a complimentary one year membership?

Opinion 16-01 A judge who serves on a law school reunion committee (1) may not sign a letter that encourages and solicits alumni donations, but (2) may invite fellow alumni to attend a law school reunion event which is not a fund-raiser, provided he/she does not refer to donations or fund-raising activities.

Opinion 15-219 Where a judge appears on a not-for-profit organization’s regular letterhead as a board member, the judge may also permit the organization to include his/her name along with other board members on the organization’s fund-raising invitations, as long as the content of the list is the same, even if the formatting is not identical, unless the specific formatting reasonably creates an impression that the board members collectively and/or the judge individually are personally soliciting funds or personally inviting people to attend the fund-raiser.

Opinion 15-171 Subject to certain limitations, a full-time judge may serve as (1) an officer for a not-for-profit fraternal organization’s local chapter, (2) a non-legal advisor to the organization’s officers, committees, and members on matters of parliamentary procedure, and (3) chair of the organization’s scholarship committee. A judge may not raise funds for this entity by selling raffle tickets to friends, but may sell raffle tickets to family without reference to his/her judicial position.

Opinion 15-154 A judge may not be the guest speaker at a not-for-profit organization’s annual dinner, where the judge knows that the dinner, although itself modestly priced, involves substantial, ongoing and prominent fund-raising as the attendees are strongly urged to upgrade to silver, gold, life, or corporate memberships, and are publicly recognized for making full or partial payment during the dinner.

Opinion 15-109 May a part-time judge who is also employed full-time with a university engage in fund-raising from alumni, parents and friends of the university if such individuals reside outside New York State? 

Opinion 15-91 May a judge serve as a clothing model at a not-for-profit fund-raising luncheon/fashion show which includes raffles and a silent auction?

Opinion 15-89 What are a judge's obligations on learning that his/her name was listed on the invitation to a not-for-profit organization's fund-raiser, where the judge's name was listed with all other directors on the back of the invitation, but the organization's regular letterhead does not include the names of its directors?

Opinion 15-60 Under these circumstances, a judge who has taken appropriate and effective remedial steps to mitigate a school’s use of the judge’s name on invitations to the school’s fund-raiser, and will not accept any award or honor at the event, may attend the event.

Opinion 15-03 A judge may not chair a committee which informs members of a religious congregation of their membership fees, and may not permit his/her name to be listed as committee chair in certain associated written materials that describe such fees.

 

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Attending Fund-Raisers; Donating to Non-Profits

 

Opinion 22-07 A new full-time judge (2) may make a modest donation to an animal shelter on behalf of a former client in connection with the closing of the judge’s law practice.

Opinion 21-180 May a judicial association “make a financial donation to a nonprofit organization that local courts often include as a required condition of pretrial or post-conviction decisions,” in the name of a former member who worked closely with the organization on retiring from the judiciary? May a judge personally, as an individual, make charitable contributions to this same nonprofit organization?

Opinion 20-190 A judge may contribute their personal funds, either alone or with a co-judge, to sponsor a family in need, and may be identified by name and title in doing so. However, the judge may not make charitable contributions in the name of the court or permit their court staff to do so.

Opinion 20-171 May a judge make a charitable donation to a 501(c)(3) living history farm for educational agricultural programming and/or a not-for-profit fund-raising drive for cancer research?

Opinion 20-132 A judge who donates to a fund established to create and install a public monument honoring a federal judge may also solicit co-equal judicial colleagues to contribute. The judges’ names and titles may be listed with other contributors on a plaque erected with the statue. The judge must not solicit participation from non-judges or any judges over whom he/she may have supervisory or appellate authority.

Opinion 19-24 May a part-time attorney judge donate office space, in a building he/she owns, to a not-for-profit charitable entity providing support to immigrants regardless of their immigration status, where the space is on a different floor from the judge’s law firm and the entity does not appear in court nor provide legal services to anyone?

Opinion 19-18 A judge may serve as "internal coordinator" of a multitask capital improvement committee for his/her house of worship, and may assist in planning fund-raising, if the judge does not personally solicit funds, does not permit use of his/her name or the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, and does not appear as the author, signatory or spokesperson in fund-raising materials. The judge may solicit other congregation members to serve the committee, may schedule and notify committee members of meeting details, and may ask the committee members to solicit donations. If the judge donates to the project, his/her name and donation amount may be published with other donors, without mention of the judge's committee role.

Opinion 18-14 A judge in his/her window period may use his/her own personal funds to make sponsor-level charitable donations, and permit the entity to acknowledge the donation by prominently displaying the judge’s name and judicial title, without reference to the “fair value” rule, provided these advertisements contain no reference to his/her campaign.

Opinion 18-05 (1) A judge must not chair a Red Cross blood drive or solicit blood donors. (2) A judge and his/her co-judge may make a charitable contribution to their house of worship by purchasing an advertisement in the weekly bulletin identifying themselves by name and title and signing it "your local magistrates."

Opinion 17-68 May a judge attend his/her court attorney's fund-raisers to offset costs associated with the court attorney's international adoption, and make contributions from his/her personal funds?

Opinion 17-59 A judge who declined his/her college alma mater's invitation to be an honorary co-chair of a fund-raising event and, after receiving the printed invitation listing the judge as a co-chair, objected in writing and requested a retraction, is not obligated to take any further steps. The judge may attend the event, where doing so will create no appearance of impropriety.

Opinion 16-158 May a judge attend a “Casino Night” fund-raiser at his/her child’s private pre-school and participate as a player?

Opinion 16-35 May a judge attend, as a guest, a fund-raising event held by a not-for-profit law enforcement organization? May the judge make donations to the entity?

Opinion 15-223 (1) A judge who is co-trustee of a relative’s charitable trust may authorize the trust to make charitable donations to not-for-profit entities that regularly appear before the judge, including legal services providers and agencies to which the judge may make referrals. Provided the judge can be fair and impartial, neither disclosure nor disqualification is required when a recipient of the trust’s charitable donations appears before him/her. (2) A judge as co-trustee of a charitable trust may participate in authorizing donations to not-for-profit organizations that seek to influence social policy, even where the organizations may seek to change the law through litigation, provided the contributions will not readily be perceived as improper political activity.

Opinion 15-222 May a judge make a charitable donation to help establish a new mentoring program for at-risk youth, where the program is sponsored by certain county public defenders?

Opinion 15-26/15-44 May a judge attend an annual fund-raising event for a not-for profit organization that provides services and support to victims of domestic abuse and child abuse?

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Bar Associations and Judicial Associations

 

Opinion 22-15(B) (2) A judge may serve on a bar association committee established to address mandated representation.

Opinion 22-13 A judge may serve as chair of a bar association subcommittee that seeks to improve racial equity in the Unified Court System.

Opinion 21-81 A judge who belongs to a judicial association (1) may participate in a vote on a resolution not to hold the association’s conferences in certain locations, based on local laws affecting individuals with particular sexual orientations, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) need not resign from the association merely because the resolution passes; and (3) may serve on a prison committee for the association’s local chapter, which provides support and assistance to women in prison as they prepare for their transition back into the community.

Opinion 21-75 A judge may speak at a bar association’s fund-raising event and introduce a video concerning a particular bar association initiative, even though others will solicit funds for that specific initiative in the course of the evening, provided that the judge does not personally solicit funds.

Opinion 21-73 A judge may not organize a virtual fashion show for judges which will (a) showcase the merchandise of a single producer of judicial robes or jewelry, (b) include a display by a single artist who creates and sells themed jewelry, or (c) display jewelry from judges’ personal collections accompanied by information about where the items were or can be purchased.

Opinion 21-34 (1) A judge may solicit other judges to join, or renew their memberships in, a local bar association, but may not similarly solicit attorneys or other non-judges. (2) A full-time judge may not serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit senior housing development that is likely to regularly engage in adversarial litigation in any court.

Opinion 21-25 A full-time judge may assist a bar association with its application for recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption status by providing guidance on the narrative description of the bar association’s activities on IRS Form 1023, provided the application is filed by the association’s attorney.

Opinion 20-209 A full-time judge may not be a member of a bar association task force organized to monitor and discuss fiscal and human rights issues faced by residents of a United States territory.

Opinion 20-168 A full-time judge may serve on a bar association’s internal nominating committee, to consider and recommend individuals who are seeking board and officer seats within the bar association.

Opinion 20-161 Upon a judicial association’s filing of a disciplinary complaint against a District Attorney, its member and officer judges are not disqualified from matters in which the District Attorney appears.

Opinion 20-105 Under the circumstances presented, a full-time judge should not participate, in any capacity, on a bar association subcommittee tasked with addressing issues concerning the upcoming elections.

Opinion 20-103 May a full-time quasi-judicial official serve on the board of a local bar association’s charitable foundation?

Opinion 20-81(A) A judge … (5) may use his/her judicial title in internal bar association communications as a bar association committee chair.

Opinion 20-38 (1) A judge may discuss pending or impending matters with other judges and court clerks at a magistrate’s association meeting, assuming this is a confidential setting with no others present. (2) Where a judicial association’s email contact list includes individuals who are not judges or court personnel, a judge cannot assume the emailed discussions are confidential or private and therefore must take particular care to observe generally applicable limitations on judicial speech.

Opinion 19-159 A judicial association may not submit an amicus curiae brief in an Article 78 proceeding against an individual judge.

Opinion 19-141 May a full-time judge serve as president of a bar foundation that “focuses on the management and distribution of grants for programs devoted to providing [local] legal services”?

Opinion 19-121 A court attorney-referee may not volunteer with a local bar association group by providing pro bono legal services in another jurisdiction.

Opinion 19-55 (1) A full-time judge may serve as officer or director of a bar foundation that provides financial aid to individual attorneys in personal and professional crisis, although the judge must not personally participate in fund-raising or permit judicial prestige to be used for fund-raising purposes. (2) The judge may preside in matters involving attorneys receiving assistance from the foundation, where the judge’s contacts with them are relatively minimal and occur exclusively through a liaison who presents the case to the board. Disqualification is not mandatory unless (a) the attorney asks the judge to recuse him/herself or (b) the judge doubts his/her ability to be fair and impartial. The attorney must be advised that the judge will recuse on request, without explanation, if the attorney is uncomfortable with the judge presiding over a particular case as a result of the attorney’s participation in the foundation.

Opinion 18-168 May a full time judge engage in certain bar association activities, serve on an executive branch official’s committee concerning a new detention facility, and teach at a private law school?

Opinion 17-179 Subject to certain conditions and limitations, a full-time judge who is the president of an ethnic bar association may participate as the bar association president in a meeting with a DA-elect's transition team on issues involving the law, the legal system and the administration of justice.

Opinion 16-178 A judicial association may not submit an amicus brief to the Court of Appeals in a pending appeal to express its members' concern, as trial judges, about the practical effects of a recent Appellate Division decision that trial judges lack statutory authority to take a particular action in connection with sentencing. The judicial association and/or individual judges may instead propose changes to applicable statutes which affect sentencing procedures in their courts. However, if it is not possible to advocate for the desired statutory change without publicly commenting on a specific, identifiable case, they must wait until the case is completely resolved.

Opinion 16-145 May a county Magistrates Association, at the request of a bar association and the county executive, comment on the bar association's proposed assigned counsel plan before it is implemented by the county?

Opinion 16-138 A judge who wishes to hire a new personal appointee law clerk may circulate the job notice through a bar association, specialized bar association committees, and attorneys who serve on those committees. The judge may also ask these attorneys to circulate the job notice within their law firms. There is no need for disqualification or disclosure merely because an attorney appearing before the judge, or his/her spouse, agrees to circulate a job notice for the judge.

Opinion 16-93 A judge may place promotional materials for a not-for-profit bar association’s upcoming educational programs on a table in the back of the courtroom

Opinion 16-40 May a judge who is a member and officer of a specialized bar association sign the association's certificate of incorporation?

Opinion 16-04 May a judge participate in a bar association's membership drive and recruit new attorney members with a complimentary one year membership?

Opinion 15-229 May a judge serve as president or vice-president of a bar association?

Opinion 15-198 A judge may attend a magistrates’ association meeting held at a local correctional facility, subject to certain limitations.

Opinion 15-187 A judge’s association may hold its annual conference at a hotel resort and casino owned by a sovereign Native American nation.

Opinion 15-149 May a full-time judge serve on a bar association committee?

Opinion 15-129 A part-time judge may serve on a bar association’s attorney grievance committee.

Opinion 15-100 A judicial association may respond to public criticism of a judge for making statements about a juror in a written decision, provided that the response does not involve comment on a pending or impending proceeding, and subject to certain additional limitations.

Opinion 15-99 A magistrates association may tour state police headquarters, but should not observe law enforcement training on how to process a DWI arrest at the state police headquarters.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Religious Institutions

 

Opinion 22-15(C) A full-time judge may not serve on the executive or governing body of their church while there is a pending Child Victims Act claim against the church.

Opinion 20-142 May a full-time judge serve on the general board of a religious denomination, which has “primary authority with regard to non-ecclesiastical policies and plans” of the denomination?

Opinion 20-116 A full-time judge may serve on the board of “location and building” for a not-for-profit religious organization, where the position involves no fund-raising responsibilities.

Opinion 19-18 A judge may serve as "internal coordinator" of a multitask capital improvement committee for his/her house of worship, and may assist in planning fund-raising, if the judge does not personally solicit funds, does not permit use of his/her name or the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising, and does not appear as the author, signatory or spokesperson in fund-raising materials. The judge may solicit other congregation members to serve the committee, may schedule and notify committee members of meeting details, and may ask the committee members to solicit donations. If the judge donates to the project, his/her name and donation amount may be published with other donors, without mention of the judge's committee role.

Opinion 17-70 A court attorney-referee who is an ordained rabbi may teach, preach, and write on Israel-related issues concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, but not on non-legal matters of substantial public and political controversy, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Opinion 17-69 A full-time judge (1) may attend informational assemblies and leadership meetings organized by a not-for-profit umbrella entity which encompasses the judge's religious institution, even if pending litigation is on the agenda, provided the judge does not comment on the litigation; and (2) may invite his/her fellow congregants to attend such assemblies and leadership meetings.

Opinion 17-20 May a judge serve on the nominating committee for his/her house of worship?

Opinion 17-12 May a full-time judge speak to not-for-profit organizations affiliated with a certain religion, including domestic and foreign parochial schools and places of worship, about his/her background and experience in becoming a judge, so as to encourage others to pursue a legal career? If so, may the judge accept standard speaking fees and reasonable travel expenses?

Opinion 16-86 May a judge be ordained as a minister via an online course in order to conduct a wedding in another state?

Opinion 16-22 A judge may read passages from scripture at a religious service, but may not participate in a prison ministry program where inmates sentenced by the judge may be present in the program’s group sessions.

Opinion 16-17 A judge who maintains a leadership role in a religious organization may not promote fund-raising activities or otherwise personally participate in soliciting funds or goods for charity, but may promote a non-fund-raising weekend retreat. A judge may not be a featured speaker at a religious institution’s anniversary banquet or permit use of his/her name in the event’s promotional materials when fund-raising will occur before and during the banquet.

Opinion 16-15 May a full-time judge accept an honorarium for giving the "lesson for the day" at a worship service?

Opinion 15-92(A) A judge may serve as an officer of his/her religious institution, and may preach a sermon and make administrative announcements, but may not solicit tithes or contributions. The judge may allow his/her sermons to be broadcast via live streaming on the internet.

Opinion 15-79 A judge may publicly participate in a non-fund-raising National Day of Prayer event, lead a prayer, and be identified as a judge.

Opinion 15-03 A judge may not chair a committee which informs members of a religious congregation of their membership fees, and may not permit his/her name to be listed as committee chair in certain associated written materials that describe such fees.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Law Schools

Opinion 21-103 May a full-time judge serve on the board of councilors for a not-for-profit private law school in another state?

Opinion 21-70 A full-time judge may accept an appointment to serve on the search committee for the dean of a law school that is financially supported primarily by New York State or one of its political subdivisions, even if the prior dean’s tenure or departure was controversial.

Opinion 20-64 May a part-time judge who is teaching at a college or law school comment on cases, regulations, or politics?

Opinion 20-31 A judge may teach a law school course based on a now-concluded homicide trial in his/her jurisdiction only if the time for appeals is exhausted and no related matters are pending or reasonably foreseeable. In teaching the class, the judge may only use materials from the public record.

Opinion 19-143 A full-time judge may teach law-related classes for compensation at a for-profit college or university, provided such teaching does not conflict with the proper performance of judicial duties.

Opinion 18-168 May a full-time judge teach or lecture part-time at a law school, and accept compensation for it?  Does the public comment rule apply?

Opinion 16-76 A judge may serve on the advisory board to an academic/clinical unit within a private law school, even though he/she refers litigants to the unit’s treatment programs, provided the judge’s activities on the board are strictly limited to reviewing and evaluating the unit’s educational curriculum.

Opinion 16-01 A judge who serves on a law school reunion committee (1) may not sign a letter that encourages and solicits alumni donations, but (2) may invite fellow alumni to attend a law school reunion event which is not a fund-raiser, provided he/she does not refer to donations or fund-raising activities.

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Fire-Fighting, Fire Departments, Fire Districts, Emergency Services

Opinion 22-06 A full-time judge may volunteer as a rescue diver for a county’s water rescue/scuba team, where the dive team members are not county employees and are not concerned with issues of fact or policy. However, the judge’s judicial duties must take precedence over this extra-judicial activity.

Opinion 21-184 A town justice (2) may serve as a volunteer firefighter or fire police, provided these roles do not involve peace officer or police officer status.

Opinion 21-124 A full-time judge may serve as a "fire officer" or "trustee" for a not-for-profit volunteer fire department, provided the position does not confer peace officer or police officer status, does not involve investigative responsibilities or working with law enforcement, and does not involve the judge with fund-raising.

Opinion 21-99 A judge may not monitor police communications on police scanners or police scanner apps for the purpose of learning who has been arrested in the judge's jurisdiction and will likely come before the judge's court, as such activity deliberately and purposefully exposes the judge to ex parte information about pending or impending cases in the judge's court, exclusively from a law enforcement perspective.

Opinion 21-80 A part-time judge who is the secretary/treasurer of a not-for-profit volunteer fire company may also serve as the organization’s point of contact to provide factual and financial information for its Federal Emergency Management Agency grant application.

Opinion 20-137 A part-time judge may serve on the board of a not-for-profit emergency medical services organization, where the position is not subject to public election, does not involve any peace officer status or investigative roles, and is not likely to be seen as intertwined with law enforcement functions.

Opinion 19-151 A part-time judge may serve ... (2) as assistant chief of the local not-for-profit volunteer fire department elected solely by the organization’s members, where the position does not involve peace officer status or any investigative responsibilities....

Opinion 19-38 A part-time judge may not serve as a fire investigator in the same county where he/she presides.

Opinion 18-187 May a town justice serve as the appointed Secretary-Treasurer for the Fire District in the same town in which he/she serves?

Opinion 18-152 A part-time town justice may simultaneously serve as the appointed treasurer of the town’s taxpayer-supported fire district, where the judge has no involvement in the budgeting process but instead pays invoices after the fire commissioners’ approval.

Opinion 18-151 A town justice may not chair the membership committee of the town’s volunteer fire department.

Opinion 18-76 A part-time judge (1) may not serve as a county fire investigator for the same county where he/she presides ....

Opinion 18-39 A full-time judge may serve on the board of trustees of a not-for-profit firefighters museum, and his/her judicial title may appear on the entity’s letterhead if similar titles appear with other board members. He/she may not use the prestige of judicial office to raise funds or solicit members.

 

Solemnizing Marriages

Opinion 20-214 A part-time judge who is an ordained minister, and who is legally permitted to solemnize marriages in that capacity, may establish a for-profit business to solemnize marriages as an ordained minister and advertise such business, provided there is no use, mention or connection to the judge's judicial status.

Opinion 16-125 May a judge perform a marriage ceremony in another state?

Opinion 16-86 May a judge be ordained as a minister via an online course in order to conduct a wedding in another state?

Opinion 16-56 (1) Unless a judge is required by law or rule to perform marriages, a judge may adopt a policy to decline to perform all weddings. (2) A judge who declines to perform weddings may permit court staff to refer couples to another incumbent public official who is authorized to solemnize marriages.

Opinion 16-10 A part-time judge may not place classified ads indicating his/her availability to officiate marriages.

Opinion 15-97 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to accept reimbursement for the cost of lodging for two nights in connection with performing an out-of-town wedding for a good friend?

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Extra-Judicial Activities - Miscellaneous

 

Opinion 21-159 May a judge who is a disabled veteran become a regular member of the not-for-profit charitable entity, Disabled Veterans of America?

Opinion 21-157 May a judge privately present an award and plaque to a martial arts teacher/practitioner on behalf of a not-for-profit organization, and thereafter permit photographs to be posted publicly on the organization’s website?

Opinion 21-123 A full-time court attorney-referee who receives a commission of over $150 for serving as executor of a family member's estate must report it to the clerk of the court as required by Section 100.4(H)(2).

Opinion 21-114(B) A full-time judge may attend a law firm’s online “launch party” hosted by an attorney and law firm who do not appear before the judge.

Opinion 21-99 A judge may not monitor police communications on police scanners or police scanner apps for the purpose of learning who has been arrested in the judge's jurisdiction and will likely come before the judge's court, as such activity deliberately and purposefully exposes the judge to ex parte information about pending or impending cases in the judge's court, exclusively from a law enforcement perspective.

Opinion 21-98 On these facts, a full-time judge need not report the described financial transactions under Section 100.4(H)(2). The judge should consult the Unified Court System's Ethics Commission concerning whether and how to report them under Part 40.

Opinion 21-70 A full-time judge may accept an appointment to serve on the search committee for the dean of a law school that is financially supported primarily by New York State or one of its political subdivisions, even if the prior dean’s tenure or departure was controversial.

Opinion 21-55 May a part-time judge serve on a committee to investigate sexual harassment claims against an individual who is a member of the same worldwide not-for-profit service organization?

Opinion 21-43 May a judge sit on the board of a local human rights commission, which is involved in investigating, conciliating, and adjudicating employment, housing, public accommodation and credit discrimination claims?

Opinion 21-11 A full-time judge may volunteer as a participant in a COVID-19 study conducted by a hospital and may accept the same modest per-visit compensation as other participants.

Opinion 20-193 (1) A town justice may not speak at a town board meeting concerning a proposed town resolution opposing extension of the big game hunting season. (2) The judge may share a copy of the proposed resolution with others if it is a public record or if the town board has otherwise made it available to the public.

Opinion 20-171 May a judge make a temporary change in their personal appearance to help raise awareness of the need for cancer research?

Opinion 20-167 There is no ethical incompatibility between foster parenthood and part-time judicial office.

Opinion 20-128 On these facts, it is the obligation of the judge who wishes to be a member or leader in a not-for-profit entity to determine if it invidiously discriminates, engages in partisan political activity, or will insert the judge unnecessarily into public controversy.

Opinion 20-113 A full-time judge may accept reasonable compensation from the home team as a sports referee for collegiate matches, even those involving SUNY/CUNY schools, where the judge is doing so “for or on behalf of” a not-for-profit sports organization independent from the competing teams.

Opinion 20-101 A judge may display photographs and other memorabilia of current and former elected federal officials in his/her chambers but must be mindful of the overall content, context and circumstances of the display to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Opinion 20-89 A judge may not mail congratulatory letters to a graduating high school class.

Opinion 20-75 Where a full-time judge has been sued by a former ward, may the judge provide his/her current attorneys with financial information he/she obtained during the guardianship, to assist them in collecting an award of attorneys’ fees from the former ward?

Opinion 20-49 A full-time judge may volunteer as a disc jockey for a not-for-profit college radio station.

Opinion 20-41 A full-time judge may not attend the annual weekend conference sponsored exclusively by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Inc. in Albany, New York.

Opinion 20-13 A part-time judge may organize a non-fund-raising sports race and promote it to members of the local sporting community, even though participants will pay a modest fee to cover event costs. The judge may personally apply for routine permits and approvals and be listed as race director, provided he/she does not reference his/her judicial status in any way in making such application and requests.

Opinion 20-02 May a full-time judge serve as a compensated referee for certain private not-for-profit high school and grammar school sports leagues?

Opinion 19-158 May a town justice attend public town board meetings as an observer?

Opinion 19-151 A part-time judge may serve ... as a scoutmaster for a local Boy Scout troop.

Opinion 19-149 A court attorney-referee may participate in a census education drive organized by his/her fraternity/sorority provided he/she does so in a strictly neutral, non-partisan and informational manner.

Opinion 19-115 A judge may participate in an academic study on judicial diversity in state courts but must abide by generally applicable limitations on speech and conduct, including the public comment rule, and must neither disclose any non-public information acquired in a judicial capacity nor express a predisposition to decide matters in a certain way.

Opinion 19-70 A judge may organize a financial educational seminar for fellow judges, featuring a speaker from a not-for-profit entity, provided the judge carefully avoids lending the prestige of judicial office to advance private interests.

Opinion 18-147 On these facts, a judge may not participate in an athletic/sporting event organized and promoted solely by the local District Attorney’s office.

Opinion 18-126 (1) A full-time judge may not consent to an interview that will be posted exclusively on a private law firm’s website. On learning his/her interview has nonetheless been posted on a law firm’s website, the judge must instruct the firm to remove the post. (2) A judge may not subscribe to a law firm’s blog, even using a personal email address.

Opinion 18-76 A part-time judge (1) may not serve as a county fire investigator for the same county where he/she presides but (2) may serve as a volunteer instructor at a regional police academy sponsored by a police organization in a neighboring county, where the students are police recruits who will not commence work until after they complete the training.

Opinion 18-15 A judge may not serve on a local committee to address bail reform whose membership will consist exclusively of defense representatives and community members since the organizers have declined to invite any prosecutorial, police, or law enforcement agency representatives.

Opinion 17-182 A full-time judge (1) may retain a pharmacy license and (2) may volunteer as a hospital pharmacist in a cancer research project, subject to the usual limitations on judicial speech and conduct.

Opinion 17-131 May a judge participate in an interview with a not-for-profit entity which provides mediation services in a court where the judge formerly presided?

Opinion 17-123 A judge who presides in veterans treatment court may write to legislators asking for names of potential peer mentors to work with veteran-defendants in the program, provided the judge avoids both actual coercion and its appearance when requesting participation. Alternatively, the judge may authorize his/her resource coordinator or mentor coordinator to write such a letter.

Opinion 17-108 A judge may not participate in a "Call to Service and Compassion Workshop" to honor child abuse victims and survivors hosted by a local child advocacy center.

Opinion 17-106 May a quasi-judicial official, whose young child has significant developmental and physical limitations, seek financial help and services offered by not-for-profit organizations for the benefit of such children and their families?

Opinion 17-101 May a judge meet privately with attorneys who represent criminal defendants concerning a "defense perspective" on the court's handling of "discovery, diversion and disposition of cases," where the meeting will expressly exclude any prosecutors?

Opinion 17-88 May a judge serve on a committee established by a local prosecutor to address certain legal issues concerning a prosecutor's discovery obligations, where the committee will include the criminal defense bar, representatives of the local Legal Aid Society, the director of the local 18B panel, and senior prosecutors?

Opinion 17-77 A judge may be a housing resource for a third-degree relative on parole, but may not use the prestige of judicial office to seek exceptions to the parole board's procedures.

Opinion 17-70 (1) A court attorney-referee who is an ordained rabbi may teach, preach, and write on Israel-related issues concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, but not on non-legal matters of substantial public and political controversy, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (2) A court attorney-referee may join and participate in non-political events sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hiddush, which appear to have substantial non-political purposes, but may neither join nor attend events sponsored by J Street.

Opinion 17-55 A judge may not directly or indirectly solicit property owners, car rental agencies, or food merchants on behalf of the Red Cross. However, the judge may use his/her skills as a logistics expert to plan and to manage supplies or donations as they are received and may also purchase items for disaster relief with a donated debit card, provided the judge does not solicit such a card. These principles apply without geographic limitation.

Opinion 17-30 May part-time judges organize a free community "Law Day" event to be held at a local library or historical society where local attorneys would offer free 10-minute private consultations to the public?

Opinion 17-25 May a full-time judge serve on the tribunal of a not-for-profit entity as the representative of one of its constituent members, where the tribunal has "jurisdiction to hear and determine controversies and disputes" among various constituent members?

Opinion 17-24 A full-time judge who presides in a high-volume part may hold annual or semi-annual meetings with the attorneys who appear before him/her to discuss administrative issues. These meetings may not involve catered meals paid for by attorneys, but the judge may host "brown bag luncheons" to which the participants may bring their own meals.

Opinion 17-15 May a Family Court judge send a sympathy card to the family of a decedent who was formerly the subject of juvenile delinquency proceedings before the judge?

Opinion 17-11 It is a judge's obligation to determine whether a lay organization for men of a particular ethnicity and religion engages in invidious discrimination.

Opinion 17-01 May a judge be a certified soccer referee member of a private, not-for-profit referee's association, and accept compensation for refereeing games? What restrictions apply for a full-time judge?

Opinion 16-179 A judge may be a member of an all-female volunteer EMT service which responds to calls from women in a particular faith community who need emergency care, where the service was established to expand opportunities for women in the community and to preserve significant religious or cultural values of legitimate common interest to community members. However, a judge may not serve as director of the entity if that role requires him/her to personally engage in fund-raising and/or recruitment activities.

Opinion 16-177 May a part-time judge volunteer with (1) a departmental grievance committee's diversion program under 22 NYCRR 1240.11 and/or (2) a local bar association's lawyer assistance committee under Judiciary Law § 499?

Opinion 16-157 A full-time judge (1) may informally refer at-risk youth to religious or secular educational programs, assuming he/she does not frequently preside in matters involving at-risk youth and such programs do not appear before the judge or accept court referrals; (2) may serve as a paramedic with a local volunteer ambulance corps; (3) may not serve on the board of a regional emergency medical services council; and (4) may participate in a documentary film concerning his/her volunteer activities if it is produced by a not-for-profit entity, but may not participate in a commercially produced documentary.

Opinion 16-112 A judge may join the Legal and Business Professionals of ____ County, a private social organization consisting of judges, lawyers, businesspeople, and law enforcement professionals interested in making their community a better place to work and live, even though its former name and mission statement inaccurately suggested a law enforcement orientation.

Opinion 15-227 May a judge whose spouse is actively involved in the not-for-profit American Israel Public Affairs Committee attend a non-political dinner at which the judge's spouse and other financial supporters will be recognized?

Opinion 15-210/09-56 Amended (1) A judge may join a local chapter of the Shooters Committee on Political Education only if, at the time of joining the entity, he/she is satisfied after reasonable inquiry that the local chapter and the national entity (a) do not align themselves with any political party, (b) do not endorse or promote any candidates for elective office, and (c) have the primary purpose of educating the public about firearm ownership, Second Amendment rights and legislation. (2) Where membership is permitted, the judge may join as a regular member, provided (a) such membership does not involve the judge in organizational litigation or publicly associate him/her with organizational positions on matters of public controversy, (b) the judge does not assume a leadership position in the organization, (c) the judge disqualifies him/herself, subject to remittal, should the organization appear in the judge’s court, and (d) the judge does not contribute to any political action committee or other political arm of the organization. (3) A judge who has joined a local chapter of SCOPE after making reasonable inquiry to ensure it is not a political organization within the meaning of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct may ordinarily rely on that initial assessment. However, if he/she becomes aware of facts suggesting that the entity has become politically active, the judge must either immediately resign or make further inquiries to assure him/herself that the local chapter and the national organization are not political organizations within the meaning of the Rules.

Opinion 15-151  A village justice may continue as a client of a salesperson whose spouse is the village prosecutor. Unless the relationship is substantially more than an ordinary salesperson-customer relationship, the judge may preside over cases where the salesperson’s spouse appears as village prosecutor without disclosure or disqualification, provided the judge can remain fair and impartial.

Opinion 15-118 May a full-time judge accept an invitation to become a member of a not-for-profit organization which has as its primary purpose the promotion of the culture of a particular religion as well as certain charitable works?

Opinion 15-104 A judge may permit a not-for-profit educational organization to use his/her name and honorific when listing the judge as a volunteer in documents that are circulated within the organization, where other volunteers are also listed with their titles, and the documents will not be used for fund-raising.

Opinion 15-103 A judge may not write a review of the professional services of his/her divorce lawyer on an online ratings service that displays individual reviews directly to the public, even if the judge’s review were anonymous with no reference to his/her judicial status.

Opinion 15-102 A full-time judge may not participate in the World Series of Poker.

Opinion 15-100 A judicial association may respond to public criticism of a judge for making statements about a juror in a written decision, provided that the response does not involve comment on a pending or impending proceeding, and subject to certain additional limitations.

Opinion 15-26/15-44 (1) A judge may attend an annual fund-raising event for a not-for profit organization that provides services and support to victims of domestic abuse and child abuse. (2) A judge may attend a non-fund-raising breakfast organized by a consortium of domestic violence agencies to promote discussion of current issues related to domestic violence, including recent and pending domestic violence legislation, where the event and participants are not so imbalanced as to cast doubt on the judge’s impartiality. (3) At either event, the judge should absent him/herself if there is any discussion of a case the judge knows is pending before him/her or another judge in the same court.

Opinion 15-07 To the extent permitted by law, a town judge may voluntarily undertake to clear snow from the driveway of an abandoned property near his/her home as a public service, even if doing so may also inadvertently aid local law enforcement activities.

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Attending Educational Programs; Attending Other Non-Profit, Non-Political, Non-Fund-Raising Events; Being an Advertised Speaker or Guest of Honor at Such Events

 

Opinion 21-185 A judge who is a community college trustee may attend a conference solely sponsored by a non-political, not-for-profit organization of college trustees, notwithstanding the conference’s designation as a national legislative summit. However, the judge must not meet with federal legislators in connection with the conference, where such meetings will be seen as lobbying efforts in support of the organization’s legislative agenda.

Opinion 21-157 May a judge privately present an award and plaque to a martial arts teacher/practitioner on behalf of a not-for-profit organization, and thereafter permit photographs to be posted publicly on the organization’s website?

Opinion 21-152 A judge may attend a local “Survivors Group,” composed of domestic violence victims, to better understand the difficulties encountered by victims of domestic violence, so long as no member of the group is a victim or witness in a matter currently pending before the judge.

Opinion 21-142 (1) Judges may attend a conference co-sponsored by a non-political, not-for-profit charitable and educational organization as well as by the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. (2) As the conference is a fund-raiser, a judicial association may not be the guest of honor but may accept an unadvertised award ancillary to the event. Accordingly, the fact that the judicial association will be honored must not be advertised in advance by the event sponsors; it may be revealed in a program or agenda circulated during the event but must not be mentioned in advance on the invitations or announcements. The judicial association may nonetheless notify its own members that the association will be honored at the conference should they wish to attend. The judicial association must not invite or solicit attendance at the conference beyond its own members.

Opinion 21-114(B) A full-time judge may attend a law firm’s online “launch party” hosted by an attorney and law firm who do not appear before the judge.

Opinion 20-184 May a multi-bench judge accept an award for domestic violence awareness month in their capacity as a treatment court judge, from a not-for-profit legal advocacy group that sometimes appears before the judge in family court?

Opinion 19-127 (1) A part-time judge may attend out-of-state judicial education courses at the National Judicial College. (2) The judge may apply for and accept an educational grant or scholarship from: (a) the National Judicial College or (b) a County Traffic Safety Board, provided there is no financial or referral connection between the judge and the Board, and there is little likelihood that the Board's investigations and recommendations will become the subject matter of cases before the judge. (3) The judge may not request or accept funds for judicial education from a local Victim Impact Panel, where that organization's sole funding source is fees paid by defendants for attendance at court-ordered sessions.

Opinion 19-124 ... (2) A town justice must attend the town's sexual harassment prevention training program if legally required to do so.

Opinion 19-73 A judge may be the plenary speaker at a non-fund-raising event sponsored by a not-for-profit homelessness services network, where the judge will discuss religious/spiritual issues, mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, and historical/moral progress in community responses to homelessness and will not address funding or government support for the homeless.

Opinion 19-14 A full-time judge may participate in a non-partisan, non-law enforcement-oriented initiative to create an anti-bullying program in schools to prevent or reduce JD and PINS behaviors.

Opinion 19-09 A full-time judge may take a multi-week improvisational comedy class from a for-profit entity, but may not perform in the graduation show, which charges admission. Additionally, the judge may perform a first-person story about his/her childhood or cultural background only if the entity producing the event is a non-profit and the show is not a fund-raiser. The analysis does not change if the judge performs anonymously and/or uses a pseudonym.

Opinion 18-110 A city court judge may attend the mayor’s free anti-violence event for youth as an audience member with no speaking role.

Opinion 18-91 May a judge accept a “[man/woman] of the year” award from a fraternal organization at the entity’s annual dinner? How can the judge determine whether or not it is a fund-raiser?

Opinion 18-55 A judge who hears Mental Hygiene Law cases in which hospitals regularly appear as petitioners may participate in a hospital’s “Nurse for a Day” program, in a unit that does not appear before the judge, but must (1) refrain from discussing court-related issues or pending cases and (2) instruct the hospital not to refer to the judge’s judicial status in any publicity concerning the event. Thereafter, for three months, the judge must disclose his/her involvement in all matters involving the hospital. In matters where all parties have, through counsel, provided written blanket “waivers” acknowledging the judge’s participation in the “Nurse for a Day” program, the disclosure requirement is deemed satisfied.

Opinion 18-41 Judges and court clerks may not attend a training program sponsored by the county Ignition Interlock Monitor, where the program will address post-conviction sentencing compliance enforcement, the faculty expressly excludes defense perspectives, and the defense bar has not been invited to attend the program. Addendum: After this inquiry was decided, the organizers invited the Public Defender to participate on the faculty panel. In our view, the Public Defender’s participation here will help ensure balance and minimize the risk that the program will be seen as a one-sided, law enforcement program. Accordingly, judges and their court clerks may attend.

Opinion 17-146 A judge may attend a free public conference on human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, where the program will focus primarily on helping identify and assist at-risk youth.

Opinion 17-137 May a part-time judge accept an award as Citizen of the Year from a local not-for-profit entity at a non-fund-raising dinner, and permit the award to be advertised in advance?

Opinion 17-94 May a judge be a guest of honor at a not-for-profit arts entity's concert to celebrate local women leaders and trailblazers, and appear in a video of the event, where the concert and video will not involve any fund-raising?

Opinion 17-04 A judge may not attend a three-day human trafficking seminar sponsored by federal prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies, where the program will focus primarily on strategies for effective prosecution.

Opinion 16-73 A judge and his/her family may not attend a defensive driving program hosted by the police department exclusively for police personnel and their families and otherwise closed to the public.

Opinion 15-99 A magistrates association may tour state police headquarters, but should not observe law enforcement training on how to process a DWI arrest at the state police headquarters.

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Compensation for Extra-Judicial Activities; Reimbursement of Travel Expenses; Section 100.4(H) Reporting Requirement

(22 NYCRR 100.4[H][1]-[2].)

This section collects recent opinions concerning full-time judges and full-time quasi-judicial officials accepting compensation or expense reimbursement for extra-judicial activities, and the Section 100.4(H) reporting requirement that may apply. 

  • Please note that that a full-time judge's extra-judicial income may also (or instead) need to be reported under Part 40; please consult the UCS Ethics Commission for guidance on Part 40 requirements.     

Opinion 22-14 May a new full-time judge continue to serve as a part-time seasonal lifeguard with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and receive compensation?

Opinion 22-07 A new full-time judge (1) need not file a disclosure with the court clerk under 22 NYCRR 100.4(H) for income earned before assuming the bench....

Opinion 21-150 A judge may accept a law firm’s offer of pro bono representation for the purpose of filing a lawsuit to challenge the Unified Court System’s vaccine mandates, where the law firm has not come and is not likely to come before the judge, subject to a reporting requirement if the value of the waived legal fees exceeds $150. The judge, however, may not disseminate a blanket email to all judges asking if any are interested in joining the proposed lawsuit.

Opinion 21-123 A full-time court attorney-referee who receives a commission of over $150 for serving as executor of a family member’s estate must report it to the clerk of the court as required by Section 100.4(H)(2).

Opinion 21-117 A judge may write a book review for a legal textbook and may retain the reviewed book in their personal library.

Opinion 21-98 On these facts, a full-time judge need not report the described financial transactions under Section 100.4(H)(2). The judge should consult the Unified Court System's Ethics Commission concerning whether and how to report them under Part 40.

Opinion 21-52 May a full-time judge, who is also a poet by avocation, share their poetry at free online creative arts panels, organized by non-commercial entities, and accept an honorarium from them?

Opinion 21-11 A full-time judge may volunteer as a participant in a COVID-19 study conducted by a hospital and may accept the same modest per-visit compensation as other participants.

Opinion 20-200 On these facts, a full-time judge may not participate in a proposed not-for-profit corporation that would be exclusively controlled by the judge’s family and would feature the judge as its sole compensated lecturer with a sliding scale of fees.

Opinion 20-174 A full-time judge ... (3) may serve as a trustee of private not-for-profit foundations which make grants to other not-for-profit organizations and accept a nominal annual director's fee, subject to the limitations on compensation for permissible extra-judicial activities; and (4) may serve as a compensated trustee of a not-for-profit cemetery association that oversees the cemetery's endowment and makes expenditures to maintain the cemetery, subject to the limitations on compensation for permissible extra-judicial activities.

Opinion 20-113 A full-time judge may accept reasonable compensation from the home team as a sports referee for collegiate matches, even those involving SUNY/CUNY schools, where the judge is doing so “for or on behalf of” a not-for-profit sports organization independent from the competing teams.

Opinion 20-102 A full-time judge may obtain a patent and license it to another.

Opinion 20-02 May a full-time judge serve as a compensated referee for certain private not-for-profit high school and grammar school sports leagues?

Opinion 19-143 A full-time judge may teach law-related classes for compensation at a for-profit college or university, provided such teaching does not conflict with the proper performance of judicial duties.

Opinion 18-168 May a full-time judge teach or lecture part-time at a law school, and accept compensation for it?  Does the public comment rule apply?

Opinion 18-127 May a full-time judge attend and participate in an out-of-state conference of tribal judges and allow one of the tribal courts to underwrite his/her travel, lodging, and registration fees?

Opinion 18-93 A full-time judge who developed a bar exam study aid and makes it available on an online app store may ... (4) accept income from online sales of the app, subject to reporting requirements.

Opinion 17-12 May a full-time judge speak to not-for-profit organizations affiliated with a certain religion, including domestic and foreign parochial schools and places of worship, about their background and experience in becoming a judge, so as to encourage others to pursue a legal career, and accept standard speaking fees and reasonable travel expenses?

Opinion 17-11 A full-time judge may perform with a non-profit orchestra and other musical groups that are not business entities and accept reasonable compensation for his/her performances, subject to certain limitations. A full-time judge may publish his/her own musical compositions and receive royalties and performance rights fees for them.

Opinion 17-01 May a judge be a certified soccer referee member of a private, not-for-profit referee's association, and accept compensation for refereeing games? What restrictions apply for a full-time judge?

Opinion 16-117 May a full-time judge teach a fitness class for a not-for-profit educational, charitable or civic organization? May the judge accept the organization's standard per-session compensation for instructors?

Opinion 16-15 May a full-time judge accept an honorarium for giving the "lesson for the day" at a worship service?

Opinion 15-202 A full-time judge may not participate in a continuing legal education program that (1) is advertised in a way clearly and improperly implying attorneys attending will be placed in a special position to influence the judge and (2) offers an honorarium designed to maximize the number of paying attendees.

Opinion 15-162 May a full-time judge write and publish a children’s book with a commercial publisher who will market and sell the book to the public and accept royalties; and personally market and sell the book?

Opinion 15-149 May a full-time judge serve as a paid, part-time adjunct professor at a private law school?

Opinion 15-141 May a full-time judge co-author a treatise on a specialized area of law and accept royalties from the sales of the book?

Opinion 15-97 Is it ethically permissible for a judge to accept reimbursement for the cost of lodging for two nights in connection with performing an out-of-town wedding for a good friend?

Opinion 14-67 A full-time judge is not required to file a report under Section 100.4(H) with respect to interest income, investment income, or compensation for legal work performed before he/she became a full-time judge.

Opinion 14-46 A full-time quasi-judicial official may serve as a coach for a local public school’s sports team and accept the reasonable compensation offered, subject to applicable reporting requirements.

Opinion 14-35 A full-time judge may discuss the Bill of Rights at a public school teachers’ conference, and accept an honorarium from a not-for-profit organization.

Opinion 13-06 A court attorney referee may write and edit the pocket part update for a commercially available for-profit legal publication and receive reasonable compensation in accordance with 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)

Opinion 11-93 A judge may review a proposed bar examination question for the National Conference of Bar Examiners and accept an honorarium for performing such work

Opinion 10-187 A full-time judge may serve as consultant to a non-profit organization, specializing in educating people with addiction issues, for the sole purpose of reviewing and making recommendations about the organization’s programs and policies, as long as no defendants before the judge are enrolled in the program, none of the work would be done on court time or in the courthouse, and the judge does not give legal advice to the organization. The judge may accept a reasonable stipend for this work.

Opinion 10-24 A full-time judge may accept an invitation from a government agency of another country to speak at a forum about the administration of justice and may accept the agency's offer of a $3,000 stipend and payment of airfare and local accommodations for a three-day visit.

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