Opinion 96-48



Digest:         A part-time judge complies with the Rules through a recusal if the judge’s client and/or potential party in a client’s lawsuit appear before the judge.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(2).


         A part-time judge who is also a solo practitioner anticipates (a) that a client will be scheduled to appear before the judge as a defendant and (b) that the potential defendant in a lawsuit commenced by a client of the judge will also be appearing as a defendant before the judge. The other part-time town judge is not a lawyer. The judge inquires whether recusal and a referral to the other judge in these situations is sufficient compliance with the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge, or whether these matters must be transferred to another court.

         Section 100.6(B)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge provides that: “A part-time judge shall not practice law in the court on which the judge serves, or in any other court in the county in which his or her court is located, before a judge who is permitted to practice law....”

         There is no prohibition, however, against clients of a part-time judge appearing in the judge’s court, although the judge/lawyer would have to recuse himself/herself pursuant to Section 100.3(E)(1).

         Recusal by the judge/lawyer would, therefore, satisfy the Rules.