February 24, 1989
Topic: Part-time judge who works in a law firm with an assistant city attorney hearing cases handled by other assistant city attorneys.
Digest: A part-time judge must recuse himself in any case handled by a member of his law firm, but need not recuse himself in cases where city attorneys appear.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.2; 100.5(f)
A part-time judge who is associated with a law firm headed by an assistant city attorney, inquires whether he properly may hear cases in his court prosecuted by other city attorneys.
Section 100.5(f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states that a judge who is permitted to practice law shall not “permit hrs or her partners or associates to practice law in the court in which he or she is a judge.” Pursuant to this provision, none of the judge’s associates or partners may appear in the judge’s court.
However, there is no impropriety or appearance of impropriety if other attorneys with the city attorney’s office prosecute cases in the judge’s court. The judge’s connection with one assistant city attorney’s private law office is too remote to require his disqualification from cases involving the city attorney’s office.