June 3, 1988
THIS OPINION HAS BEEN MODIFIED BY OPINION 09-100 TO THE EXTENT THAT IT SUGGESTS THAT A MERE TENANCY OR OFFICE-SHARING AGREEMENT, WITHOUT MORE, MAKES AN ATTORNEY THE "ASSOCIATE" OF A PART-TIME JUDGE UNDER RULE 100.6(B)(3). PLEASE CONSULT OPINION 09-100 BEFORE RELYING ON THIS OPINION.
This is in response to your letter of March 22, 1988, seeking clarification of Opinion 87-10 issued by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.
Opinion 87-10 states that a lawyer who is professionally associated with a part-time judge, but who has an independent practice, may appear before a part-time judge of a court in another town, village or city but may not appear in the court where his associate is a part-time judge.
Section 100.5(f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that “[n]o judge who is permitted to practice law shall permit his or her partners or associates to practice law in the court in which he or she is a judge,” and further, that “[n]o judge who is permitted to practice law shall permit the practice of law in his or her court by the law partners or associates of another judge of the same court who is permitted to practice law [emphasis is supplied].”
It is the view of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics that the meaning of both the Opinion and the rule in this respect is plain, and that the lawyer with whom you share office space should be considered an associate for the purposes of this Rule.
I reiterate, however, that the Opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Very truly yours,
Samuel J. Silverman