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
Patience is the companion of wisdom - quote of ancient Christian theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine printed on grunge cardboard
Here are some of the things judges keep on their benches for inspiration or admonition

Our April Question of the Month asked judges what signs, quotes, totems, lucky charms, etc., they keep on t...

Old brass weight scale near lighting candles on dark background
Remembering Pam Bresnahan

The College lost a friend who was one of the legal community’s most prominent and respected practitio...

A statement from President Aldana on recent anti-Asian violence

The National Judicial College is dedicated to making the world a more just place by educating and inspiring...

Courtroom
Welcome to the Bench, March 2021

Congratulations to the following judges who are either new to the bench or have recently been elected, appo...

How the descendants of African slaves became Indians

Last month the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation handed down a decision that likely surprised many peopl...

View All News

Download a PDF of our complete 2021 course catalog

Download