November 19, 1992
Digest: A part-time lawyer-judge may not use his or her judicial title in an advertisement for the judge’s private law practice.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.2(c); 100.5(c)(1).
A part-time judge inquires whether the judge may advertise the judge’s law practice in the local weekly newspaper. The judge states that the advertisement would contain the judge’s name and, below it, the title “Village Justice.” The remainder of the advertisement would contain the judge’s areas of specialty, address and telephone number.
Section 100.2(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts states as follows:
No judge shall lend the prestige of his or her office to advance the private interests of others; nor shall any judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him or her.
In addition, section 100.5(c)(1) provides that judges should refrain from business dealings that “exploit judicial position.”
In the present situation, by using the judge’s title in an advertisement for the judge’s private law practice, the part-time judge appears to be exploiting his or her judicial office for private gain. Thus, the judge should not use the proposed advertisement.