August 18, 2017
This responds to your inquiry (17-93) asking whether you may preside in matters involving the local District Attorney’s office since you have applied for a full-time job in that office. Although you will not hear cases involving the District Attorney’s office while an acti ve applicant, you ask about your ethical obligations if you are not selected for or decline the position.
The Committee has previously advised that a judge who has applied for employment with a law firm must disqualify him/herself, subject to remittal, when the law firm subsequently appears in the judge’s court. This obligation continues while the application is pending.
However, if no employment relationship results at the end of the application process, disqualification is no longer required unless you have a personal bias or prejudice against the former prospective employer of if your impartiality may reasonably be questioned.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 13-30 and 05-35/10-78 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court