September 12, 1991
Digest: A part-time judge, who also is a high school teacher, may preside over a case where one of the attorneys is the judge's former student, provided the judge believes he or she can be impartial.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.3(c) and (d)
A part-time judge, who also is a high school teacher, asks whether it is proper to preside over cases where one of the parties is represented by an attorney who was a former student of the judge's several years prior to the court appearance.
Section 100.3(c) and (d) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator delineates situations where judges must recuse themselves or consider recusal. The situation posed in this inquiry falls outside the restrictions contained in the aforesaid rule and there is no inherent appearance of an impropriety. Therefore, it is the opinion of this Committee that the judge may preside when a former high school student is an attorney, provided, of course, that the judge believes he or she can be impartial.