March 10, 1994
Digest: A town justice who is a practicing attorney may represent a fire district within the geographical jurisdiction of his or her court, but must disqualify himself or herself in any matter involving the fire district.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(a)
A town justice, who is a practicing attorney, inquires if it is ethical also to act as attorney for a fire district located within the geographical jurisdiction of the judge's court.
The fire district is a separate political entity from the town and consists of fire commissioners elected by the residents of the district. Its function is to oversee the operation of the various independent fire companies within the district. Normally the commissioners are not involved in matters before the judge's court.
Since there appears to be no conflict between the judge's judicial duties and those of the attorney for the fire district the judge may continue to serve in both capacities. However, disqualification is required if the fire district becomes involved in any matter before the judge.