Opinion: 98-43
April 23, 1998
Digest:    The fact that the parent of a court attorney is a police officer does not require disqualification in criminal cases in which the parent is involved, but the court attorney may not participate in any way in the handling of such cases.

Rules:    22 NYCRR 100.2; 100.3(C)(2).


            Two City Court judges advise that their newly-appointed court attorney is the daughter of a narcotics investigator, who works, in part, within the Court's jurisdiction. The judges further inform the Committee that the local District Attorney and Public Defender have been advised of the potential conflict, and that it is the judges' intent to insulate the court attorney from participating in any case involving the parent. It will also be the Court's policy to advise all parties of a potential conflict should one arise.

            It is the opinion of the Committee that, under the circumstances presented, the judges are not disqualified from presiding over criminal cases. Because of the remedial measures already taken, as outlined in the letter of inquiry, the court attorney will be prohibited from working on any case in which the court attorney's parent has been involved, either directly or in any supervisory role. Given such safeguards, the court and the staff will avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. 22 NYCRR 100.2; 100.3(C)(2).