January 27, 2005
Digest: A full-time judge may teach a course at a law school, but whether suchteaching may take place during regularly scheduled court hours, with time expended to be charged to annual leave, are administrative questions to be determined by the appropriate Administrative Judge.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(A); 100.4(B); Opinion 92-05 (Vol. X); Matter of DiBlasi, 2002 Annual Report 87 (Comm. on Judicial Conduct.).
A full-time judge has been invited to teach a course at a law school. The class is scheduled to commence at 3:00 p.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m. each Wednesday for fourteen (14) weeks. The judge will cancel the class or arrange for an alternate teacher should court commitments conflict with the class schedule. In addition, the judge will charge to annual leave any regular court business hours devoted to the class. The judge inquires regarding the propriety of accepting this teaching assignment.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct allow a judge to speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities, subject to other requirements of the Rules, and the judge may accept regular, reasonable, compensation for such services. 22 NYCRR 100.4(B); Opinion 92-05 (Vol. X). This would, of course, include teaching a law school course. However, the judge’s judicial duties must take precedence over all the judge’s other activities including the teaching of law. 22 NYCRR 100.3(A).
There is, therefore, no ethical objection to the judge teaching a course at a law school. However, whether or not the judge may charge the time expended to annual leave, and whether the scheduling of the course might adversely affect the judge’s judicial responsibilities are administrative questions to be determined by the appropriate Administrative Judge. See, Matter of DiBlasi, 2002 Annual Report 87 (Comm. on Judicial Conduct.)