Opinion 88-130


December 8, 1988

 

Topic:          Propriety of city court judge serving as a director of a legal services bureau which represents persons in his court.

 

Digest:         A city court judge is prohibited from serving as a director of a legal services bureau which represents clients in his court.

 

Rules:          22 NYCRR Section 1OO.5(b)(1); Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5(B)(1)


Opinion:


         A city court judge seeks an opinion as to the propriety of serving as a director of a legal services bureau that represents indigent persons in his court.


         While a judge may be a director of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, a judge “shall not serve if it is likely that the organization will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before him or her or will be regularly engaged in adversary proceedings in any court.” [22 NYCRR Section 1OO.5(b)(1); see also, Judiciary Law, Canon 5(B)(1)]. We conclude that the judge here is disqualified from serving as director of a legal services bureau, as the legal services bureau is engaged in adversary proceedings in court. See also Opinion 88-77 of this Committee, dated June 13, 1988 [a judge may not serve on the board of directors of a prisoner's legal services because the organization is regularly engaged in adversary proceedings in court].