Opinion 03-120


January 29, 2004


 

Digest:         Neither a part-time city court judge nor his or her co-judge may permit the judge’s child, who is the judge’s law partner and who expects to become the city’s corporation counsel, to appear before them in the city court.

 

Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1)(c);100.6(B) (2); Opinion 95-112, (Vol XIII).



Opinion:


         A part-time city court judge asks whether the judge’s child, who is the judge’s law partner and who expects to become the city’s corporation counsel, may appear before the judge or his/her co-judge.


         Pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a part-time judge “. . . shall not permit the judge’s partners or associates to practice law in the court in which he or she is a judge and shall not permit the practice of law in his or her court by the law partners or associates of another judge of the same court, . . .”. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(2). In Opinion 95-112 (Vol XIIl), this Committee advised that pursuant to this rule, a part-time judge may not permit the judge’s law partner, who is the Town Attorney, to appear in the judge’s court. Similarly, in the present inquiry neither the inquiring judge nor his/her co-judge may permit the judge’s child, who is the judge’s law partner and who expects to become the city’s corporation counsel, to appear before them in the city court. We further note that section 100.3(E)(1)(c) requires disqualification where a relative within the fourth degree of relationship appears as an attorney in the proceeding. Personally, the corporation counsel is the attorney of record in all cases in which the city is a party regardless of who is actually appearing in court, and thus disqualification would be required on the part of the inquiring judge.