Ask the Model Code: To what extent may I promote a charity?

nutcracker

Dear Model Code,

I’m a member of the board of directors of a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that supports the local ballet company. Can I encourage people to buy tickets to this month’s production of The Nutcracker? To what extent am I allowed to aid in the ballet’s promotion?

Sincerely,
Hon. Sugar Plum Sponsor

 

Dear Judge Sugar Plum,

It may be the season of giving, but for judges that means treading cautiously.

Rule 3.1 of the Model Code allows for judges to participate in charitable organizations, including serving as a board member. However, your right to seek contributions—or sell ballet tickets—is limited.

Under Section A, point 2, of Rule 3.7, judges are allowed to solicit contributions for a charitable entity but only from members of the judge’s family or from judges the judge does not supervise or hold appellate authority over.

By the way, some states may also interpret Rule 1.3, which says a judge shall not advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others, to the point of usurping Rule 3.1. So when it comes to supporting charitable entities, you may want to check with your state’s bar association or a superior judge.

Festively yours,

The Model Code of Judicial Conduct


New tribal judges, jump-start your career by taking Essential Skills for Tribal Court Judges. The course covers the fundamentals necessary to preside over criminal and civil matters. It’s an essential course for new tribal judges or those who want a refresher.

Offered March 5-8, 2018, in Tucson, Arizona

Click here for more information or to register

arizona sunset
NJC News
protest international activist movement protesting against racism and fighting for justice - Demonstrators from different cultures and race protest on street for equal rights
Conversations on Racial Justice

Judging the Judiciary on Race America’s judges confront the system’s culpability for racial injustic...

Caption reads
COVID has helped cure some of the court’s ills

COVID-19 has killed more than 200,000 Americans since it took our first citizen in early February 2020. It ...

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars. 3d render
COVID & courses update

All remaining 2020 in person courses have been cancelled or converted to online delivery. Here’s the cale...

Tractor trailer hauling a load at dawn.
Judges learn when revoking a commercial driver’s license is appropriate

National Judicial College to receive more than $2 million from federal highway safety agencies

The nation’s oldest and largest college for judges, The National Judicial College (NJC), has entered into...

View All News

Download a PDF of our complete 2020 course catalog

Download