January 12, 1989
Topic: Propriety of attorney appearing before a part-time judge from whom the attorney rents office space and to whom the attorney refers cases.
Digest: A judge may not permit an attorney who rents office space from the judge and who refers cases to the judge, to practice In the judge's court.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(f)
A part-time judge inquires whether an attorney may appear before a part-time judge from whom the attorney rents office space, use of the library and secretarial services, and to whom the attorney refers cases and with whom the attorney shares fees.
Section 100.5(f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states 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. No judge who is permitted to practice law shall permit the practice of law by the partners or associates of another judge of the same court who is permitted to practice law.”
Here, because of their business relationship, the attorney functions as an associate of the part-time judge, and accordingly the judge may not permit the attorney to appear in the judge's court, either before the judge or before the judge's co-judges. See also, opinion 88-38 of the Advisory Committee of Judicial Ethics [a part-time judge may not rent office space from an attorney who practices in the judge's court].