September 12, 1991
Digest: A judge should comply with a lawful subpoena from an Appellate Division Attorney Disciplinary Committee and should not have any ex parte discussions about the case with anyone (except the judge’s staff, etc.) while the case is pending before the judge.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§ 100.2, 100.3 (a) (4)
A judge, who is holding a hearing concerning sanctions against an attorney who participated in a trial before the judge, has been requested to discuss the matter with a special counsel for the Appellate Division Attorney Disciplinary Committee. The judge asks whether such discussions would be appropriate at this time, and what action the judge should take in response to a subpoena, if one is received from the Disciplinary Committee.
Section 100.2 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator requires judges to “respect and comply with the law”. Accordingly, if the judge receives a subpoena, the judge should comply with it, if it is a lawful subpoena, subject to any appropriate motion to quash. Pursuant to section 100.3 (a) (4) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, the judge should not engage in any ex parte discussions with the special counsel or anyone (except members of the judge’s staff, etc.) concerning this matter while the matter is pending before the judge.