Opinion 87-14

January 28, 1988


Topic:          Appearance in city court on behalf of private litigants by attorneys who also are part-time city officials, or partners or associates thereof


Digest:         In the absence of information indicating a disqualifying relationship between the city court judge and other city officials who practice law, and their law partners and associates, the inquiries as posed, concerning their appearance in court, primarily raise questions of professional rather than judicial ethics, which the Committee declines to address


Rules:          Code (Canons) of Professional Responsibility


         A city court judge asks the Committee’s advice on a series of questions relating to the propriety of the appearance on behalf of private litigants before the city court judge of various part-time city officials who also are attorneys permitted to engage in the private practice of law, and also the propriety of the appearance of their law partners and associates. The Committee, upon consideration, concludes that, absent a showing of some specific disqualifying relationship between the judge and these attorney-officials, the questions, as they have been formulated, are not primarily questions of judicial ethics, but rather of professional ethics, and, therefore, are not within the province of this Committee to answer.