May 4, 2000
A part-time City Court judge who practices law, may represent a Town Court
judge on a complaint pending before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
22 NYCRR 100.2; 100.6(B)(2);
Opinions 96-91 (Vol. XV); 96-29 (Vol. XIV).
A part-time City Court judge who maintains a private law practice, has been asked by a Town Court judge to represent him/her with respect to a complaint against that judge now pending before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The judge asks if such legal representation is proper.
A part-time judge who is admitted to the bar may maintain a private law practice. There are restrictions on such law practice established by Rule (e.g. 22 NYCRR 100.6[B]) and in consequence of various opinions issued by this Committee (See e.g., Opinion 96-91 (Vol. XV) [a part-time judge should not represent clients in actions against the same municipality]; Opinion 96-29 (Vol. XIV) [a part-time judge should not represent clients before the zoning and planning boards of the municipality where the judge sits]. But, in our opinion, there is no impropriety or appearance of impropriety in the legal representation envisioned in this instance. 22 NYCRR 100.2. (Whether our answer would be the same if the two judges were judges of the same court is not before the Committee.)