Opinion: 97-42

May 8, 1997

Digest:A part-time City Court Judge, may share law office space with a part-time county legislator.

Rules:  22 NYCRR 100.4 (A)(1); 100.6(B)(3)
            Opinion 89-93 (Vol. IV).


            A part-time City Court Judge inquires whether he/she may share office space with a part-time county legislator who also practices law. The concern expressed by the judge arises from the fact that the county legislature appoints the public defender whose staff routinely appears before the judge. Furthermore, the legislature funds the district attorney's office whose staff also appears before the judge.

            In the view of the Committee, there is no substantive nexus between the authorization of funding by the county legislature and the sharing of law office space with a member of that body as to warrant any ethical concern on the part of the inquirer. The Committees does not perceive that circumstance as one which would "cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially as a judge." 22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(1); See also Opinion 89-93 (Vol. IV).

            It should also be noted that the legislator will not be practicing before the judge nor in the court where the judge presides, and thus the limitations of section 100.6 (B)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct are not at issue.