Opinion: 98-121
October 22, 1998
Digest:    A full-time judge may teach a course in real property law at a non-profit educational institution but may not teach a course in civil litigation at a commercial, for-profit proprietary educational institution.

Rule:    22 NYCRR 100.4(D)(3); 100.4(H)(1)(c); 100.6(D).
            Opinions 92-05 (Vol. IX); 94-57 (Vol. XIII); 96-143.


            A recently appointed Housing Court judge has been teaching in the evening at two educational institutions. The inquirer teaches a course in real property law at a non-profit educational institution, i.e., at a college that is part of the City University of New York ("CUNY"), and a course in civil litigation at a for-profit proprietary educational institution that trains paralegals. The judge asks "whether it is appropriate to continue teaching at either or both of these institutions."

            The Committee has previously advised that judges may teach law (and other subjects, e.g. dance) at non-profit institutions and be compensated for such teaching. See, e.g. Opinions 94-57 (Vol. XIII), 92-05 (Vol. IX). Further, section 100.4(H)(1)(c) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct specifically allows a judge to receive compensation for teaching at a New York State public college or university. Accordingly, the judge may continue to teach a course of study at the CUNY college mentioned in the inquiry.

            Our opinion is different, however, with respect to teaching the course in civil litigation at the for-profit school for paralegals. That entity is a commercial proprietary educational institution, i.e., profit-making. Section 100.4(D)(3) of the Rules forbids a full-time judge from, among other things, serving as an "employee or other active participant of any business entity . . . ." The school in question is a "business entity." It therefore follows that the judge may not continue to teach at that institution. See Opinion 96-143 [a full-time judge may not serve as an instructor at a commercial entity formed to assist pre-law students in applying to law school].

            The judge also asks the permission of the Committee to complete the present teaching assignment should the Committee find either position objectionable. But, the Committee is not empowered to grant such permission. That authority rests with the Chief Administrative Judge. Section 100.6(D) of the Rules allows for the making of an "application to the Chief Administrator for additional time to comply [with section 100.4(D)(3)], in no event to exceed one year, which the Chief Administrator may grant for good cause shown." Accordingly, any request in that regard should be directed to the Chief Administrative Judge.