Opinion: 97-53

May 8, 1997

Digest:  A part-time Town Justice may accept an appointment by the Town to serve as one of three arbitrators in a dispute with an employee.

Rules:   22 NYCRR 100.6 (B)(4).


            A part-time Town Justice inquires whether it would be a conflict of interest for the justice to accept a paid assignment to act as an arbitrator "as the Town's representative" in a dispute between an employee of the Town who is a member of the Civil Service Employee Association ("CSEA") and the Town. The inquiring justice would be part of a panel of three arbitrators. One arbitrator would be chosen by the CSEA and the third arbitrator would be agreed upon by the Town and CSEA appointees. The judge has advised that the Town is not the presenting agency in traffic matters, and does not have matters which generally come before the court. A co-justice shares the duties of the inquiring judge.

            Section 100.6 (B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides "that a part-time judge may accept private employment...in a municipal department or agency, provided that such employment does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge's duties." 22 NYCRR 100.6 (B)(4)

            As this is a one-time assignment and there is no conflict with the judge's duties or any appearance of bias or impropriety, the Committee concludes that the judge may accept the assignment.