October 31, 1991
Digest: A judge is not disqualified from presiding over a case involving a defendant who has commenced another action by which the judge is named as a defendant together with practically every judge in the state.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.3(c).
A judge inquires whether it is permissible to continue to preside over a case involving a defendant who has brought another action in which the judge is named as a defendant together with almost every other judge in New York State.
The judge is not disqualified from hearing the case, simply because of the defendant’s other lawsuit against the judge, as that lawsuit names almost every other judge in the state. In Opinion 90-107, Vol. VI, this Committee permitted a full-time judge to preside over a matter, even though the judge had been named as a co-defendant in another case by the litigant before the judge, because numerous other judges had also been sued, and thus none are per se disqualified under the familiar canon of necessity, “if all are disqualified, none are disqualified.” Here the judge may serve if the judge feels he or she can be impartial.