January 15, 2007
This responds to your inquiry (07-127) about whether you may continue as a private investigator while serving as a Town Justice.
This Committee previously concluded that a part-time judge may serve as a private investigator, subject to certain limitations. Thus, the judge should not work as an investigator on matters that might fall within the jurisdiction of the judge’s court. If such a matter does come before the judge, he/she must recuse. Also, for a period of two years after the judge completes work as an investigator for a particular attorney, the judge should exercise recusal when that attorney appears before the judge. Finally, the judge should recuse if he/she has recently solicited work from an attorney who appears in the judge’s court. Opinions 99-80 (Vol. XVIII); 92-63 (Vol. IX); 90-01 (Vol. V).