June 27, 2001
Digest: A judge may serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit hospital, subject to recusal in the event the hospital is a party or otherwise involved in a matter before the judge.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1); 100.3(F); 100.4(C)(3); Opinions 00-18; 00-76.
A multi-hat county judge, newly appointed to fill an interim vacancy, inquires as to the propriety of continuing to serve on the board of directors of a small not-for-profit hospital. It is not anticipated that any cases involving the hospital would come before the judge.
Section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permits a judge to serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal adviser of most not-for-profit entities. This would include a not-for-profit hospital. Such service, however, is not without restrictions. For example, the judge's status as a director is subject to disclosure and the exercise of recusal in the event the hospital appears as a party or is otherwise involved in a case before the judge, since that is a circumstance in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned. 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1); Opinions 00-18, 00-76. Such disqualification is subject to remittal pursuant to section 100.3(F) of the Rules.