December 5, 1991
Digest: A part-time judge's law firm may not serve as attorneys for the town where the judge works, as this would result in too many disqualifications by the judge
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.5(c).
A part-time town judge's law firm has been asked by town officials to represent the town. The judge requests an opinion about this situation.
Section 100.5(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts states that a judge should refrain from business dealings that "involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court."
The firm may not accept appointment as the town's attorneys because the town would then be the client of the firm, including the inquiring judge, and the inquiring judge would have to disqualify himself or herself in all matters involving the town. As the town appears frequently in the judge's court, this would result in too many disqualifications by the judge.