November 15, 1994
Digest: A judge is not required to recuse himself/herself because a complaint has been made to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct by an attorney who now is substituted into an ongoing case as counsel for one of the parties, as long as the judge feels that he/she can be impartial.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.1; 100.3; 100.3(a) 100.3(c).
On two occasions a Supreme Court Justice had recused himself/herself upon application of an attorney who previously had filed a complaint against the judge with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which complaint was dismissed.
The judge now asks whether he/she should continue to grant such applications by the attorney in cases where the attorney is substituted as counsel for one of the parties, where the action has been pending before the judge and opposing counsel objects to recusal.
The Committee is of the opinion that under the circumstances presented, the judge is not required to recuse himself/herself where the case has been in progress when the substitution is made, as long as the judge feels that he/she can be impartial. The judge is not required to permit such “judge shopping”.