May 7, 1992
Digest: A part-time judge, who also is a private investigator, should disqualify himself or herself if the judge has served as an investigator for an attorney who appears before the judge within two years prior to the appearance, or if the judge has actively solicited work from the attorney.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(h).
A part-time judge, who apparently is a private investigator, asks whether the judge may preside over cases where one of the attorneys who appears formerly employed the judge as an investigator.
Assuming that the inquiring judge is an investigator, the judge should disqualify himself or herself in a case where one of the attorneys employed the judge as an investigator within the last two years. If the employment was more than two years ago, the judge may preside, if the judge believes that he or she may be impartial. In addition, the judge should disqualify himself or herself if one of the attorneys is someone from whom the judge has actively and recently solicited work or contemplates soliciting work as an investigator. Further, if the relationship between the judge and the attorney is such that the judge does not feel that he or she can be impartial, then the judge should disqualify himself or herself. If all this results in too frequent disqualifications, then the judge should give up one of the two jobs. (22 NYCRR 100.5[h]).