Opinion 89-136


December 5, 1989


 

Digest:         Prior to assuming judicial office, a judge must terminate his law practice and remove his name from the masthead, but may attend political functions for six months after the date of election.

 

Rules:          N.Y. Const. A r t . 6, section 20(b)(4); Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5 (f); 22 NYCRR 100.2(c); 100.2(c); 100.7(a) (1)


Opinion:


         A recently elected full time judge inquires whether his name may remain on his firm’s masthead after his term begins, and whether he may continue to work on current files and attend political functions for the purpose of expressing appreciation to his supporters for past efforts.


         Article VI,§ 20(b)(4) of the New York State Constitution and Canon 5(f) of the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibit judges from engaging in the practice of law. Consequently, the judge must reassign current files and terminate his association with the law firm prior to assuming judicial office. (See Advisory Opinions 89-34 and 89-38.)


         Section 100.5(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides:

 

No judge shall lend the prestige of his or her office to advance the private interests of others, nor shall any judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him or her.


This provision prohibits a judge from leaving his name on the

firm's masthead.


         Section 100.7(a)(1) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that a judge is not prohibited from attending politically sponsored dinners or other affairs for a six-month period after the general election. Accordingly, the judge may attend such affairs for six months following the general election.