September 21, 1995
Digest: A part-time town judge may not permit the judge's law partner, who is Town Attorney, to appear in the town court.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(f)
A part-time town justice asks the following question:
Is there an actual or apparent impropriety involved if the town attorney is also the law partner of the town justice in their private practice of law? Care would be taken so that the town attorney and the town attorney's staff will not appear before the town justice who is also the town attorney's law partner. If a matter involving the town attorney's office should come on before the town justice who is town attorney's law partner, the matter would be transferred to the town justice who is not the town attorney's law partner.
The Committee is of the opinion that partners of the judge may not appear in the judge's court. Of necessity, the Town Attorney will be appearing in the inquirer's court. Section 105 (f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator is therefore applicable. Moreover, the prohibitions specified in that provision would not be avoided by the appearance of a member of the staff of the Town Attorney in as much as the Town Attorney remains the attorney of record. Accordingly, the inquiring judge may not permit the Town Attorney, who is the judge's law partner, to appear in the judge's court.