January 30, 1992
Digest: A judge may appoint the judge's law secretary's mother, a former judge, to serve as a referee in a case, but the law secretary should have nothing to do with that case.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(b)(4).
A judge inquires whether it is permissible to appoint the mother of the judge's law secretary as a referee. The law secretary's mother is a retired judge.
Section 100.3(b)(4) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states that "a judge shall exercise the power of appointment only on the basis of merit, avoiding favoritism."
The proposed appointment of the retired judge as a referee is permissible, but the judge should ensure that the law secretary has nothing to do with the case in which the retired judge is appointed.