June 7 , 1990
Digest: A judge should disqualify himself or herself in cases handled by a law firm which employs the court's part-time clerk as a secretary.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2.
A part-time Town Justice inquires about the propriety of hearing cases handled by a law firm, which employs as a secretary the part-time Justice Court Clerk of the inquiring Justice's two justice court. The Court Clerk is not a personal appointee of the judge.
While the Court Clerk is not a personal appointee of the judge, an appearance of impropriety is created if the law firm where the clerk is employed as a secretary represents clients before the judge in the court where the law firm's employee secretary is the Court Clerk, albeit part-time.
Accordingly, the judge should disqualify himself or herself in matters handled by the law firm which employs the Court Clerk as a secretary.