As we are in the office on a rotational basis, judges and quasi-judicial officials may continue to call us at 1-866-795-8343 for informal guidance on new issues as they arise. Please state your name and contact information clearly on our voicemail so we can return your call.

In addition, judges may email us written inquiries for consideration at our next meeting. At this time, we anticipate that inquiries received through March 1, 2021 will be on the agenda for the Committee’s consideration on March 11, 2021.

We have issued opinions on a variety of coronavirus-related inquiries.



The Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics provides ethics advice to judges, justices and quasi-judicial officials of the NYS Unified Court System about their own conduct.

Our sole mission is to help judges comply with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.

Co-Chairs: Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Hon. Lillian Wan

Hon. Daniel Angiolillo

Chief Counsel: Laura L. Smith, Esq.


Contact Information

Telephone: 1-866-795-8343 (toll free)

E-Mail: See the Committee's email policy for our email address and more information.

Mailing Address:
Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
c/o Laura L. Smith, Esq., Chief Counsel
25 Beaver Street, Room 866
New York, NY 10004


Self-Help (Finding Opinions)

In addition to the search engine, here are some alternatives to make our opinions more accessible:

Note: For best results using our current search engine, please consult our Search Help page.


Inquiry Status

Once the Committee meets and decides an inquiry (see Meeting Dates), the inquiring judge may call us at 1-866-795-8343 to learn the disposition immediately by telephone.

A formal written opinion will follow in due course.


Some Coronavirus-Related Opinions

For ease of reference, here are some recent opinions touching on various aspects of the current public health crisis.

  • Opinion 20-149 - serving as a poll worker (f/t judge).
  • Opinion 20-143 - coordination solely between police and prosecution to distribute prosecutor's plea offers to defendants; see also Opinion 20-177 for a broader view of factors to consider.
  • Opinion 20-111 - judicial candidate's attendance at virtual fund-raiser.
  • Opinion 20-99 - communicating with defendant motorists about their options in VTL matters.
  • Opinion 20-97 - distributing a prosecutor's "informational document" to defendant motorists.
  • Opinion 20-94 - providing behind-the-scenes clerical assistance to prosecutor.
  • Opinion 20-89 - sending congratulatory letters to high school seniors whose traditional in-person activities were curtailed.
  • Opinion 20-80 - providing general legal and ethical information in email auto-response message.
  • Opinion 20-77 - serving on an advisory board that will make recommendations about emergency funding (f/t judge; extra-judicial activity).
  • Opinion 20-76 - evaluating loan applications under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (p/t judge; outside employment).