December 2, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-157) concerning your activities as a board member of a not-for-profit organization devoted to encouraging and supporting a martial art practice. The organization recently awarded a fellowship stipend to an individual who teaches the martial art as a public service and asked you to present the check (and plaque) to the recipient. Although the public will not be invited to attend, photographs would be taken of the award and posted on the organization’s website. You have asked if you may present the award and plaque.
We have advised that a judge may serve on the board of various not-for-profit charitable organizations, subject to the limitations in the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (see Opinion 12-108) and provided the judge does not engage in any fund-raising (see id.; Opinions 09-170; 08-193; 07-81).
Thus, you may present the check and plaque (see Opinion 01-84), provided you do not engage in fundraising and otherwise comply with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
Enclosed for your convenience are Opinions 12-108, 09-170; 08-193; 07-81; 01-84 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice