January 30, 1992
Digest: A judge need not disqualify himself or herself from cases involving the county, where the judge's former partner has become a special counsel to the county, but has no involvement whatsoever in the matter before the judge.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(c).
A full-time judge asks if the judge may hear cases involving the county government where the judge's former law partner of twenty-five years will soon begin serving as special counsel to the county. The former law partner, however, would not be involved in any way in any matters coming before the judge.
Section 100.3(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, which relates to a judge's disqualification, does not require that a judge disqualify himself or herself where the judge's former partner is employed by a party, but is not, and never was, involved in the matter before the judge. Here, the judge need not disqualify himself or herself, provided that the judge's former partner, as stated, has no involvement in the matter and will be provided with no information about any matter pending before the judge.