Opinion: 98-117
October 22, 1998
Digest:    A part-time village justice, who is permitted to practice law, may represent the village, in which he or she sits in federal court civil rights litigation.

Rule:    22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4);
            Opinions 93-111 (Vol. XI);
            88-20 (Vol I).


            A part time village justice, who is an attorney, inquires as to the appropriateness of representing the village in civil rights litigation in a federal district court.

            The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provide that a part-time attorney judge may take employment with a municipality as long as such employment is compatible with his or her judicial office. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4). The question in this instance thus turns on the issue of compatibility. Previously, the Committee has found that it is not incompatible for a part-time judge to represent the municipality in which he or she sits. See Opinions 93-111 (Vol. XI) and 88-20 (Vol. I).

            As the judge would be representing the village in a court with no connections to the village and on an issue with no connections to the justice court, it is our opinion that such employment would not be incompatible with the performance of the judge's duties as village justice. Accordingly, it is the opinion of the Committee that there is no ethical objection to the judge's representing the village in this particular matter.