January 27, 2000
A part-time judge/lawyer may not participate in a law suit brought by the
judge's law firm, in another court, against the municipality where the
judge's court is located; may not share in the fees earned; and should
not allow his or her name to be used as attorney of record or otherwise
in connection with such lawsuit.
22 NYCRR 100.2(C);
Opinion 93-68 (Vol. XI).
A part-time City Court judge has recently joined a law firm which presently represents a client in a pending Supreme Court litigation against the city in which the judge sits. The judge inquires as to the ethical implications for the judge of such representation. The judge advises that he or she will not share in any fees earned from this case.
This Committee has previously advised that it is permissible for another attorney from a part-time judge's law firm to represent a client in litigation against the municipality in which the judge sits. Opinion 93-68 (Vol. XI). However, the judge may not in any way participate in the law suit and, further, the judge's name should not appear as a member of the firm on any submissions made to the court in which the litigation occurs. In this way, the judge will avoid being perceived as lending the prestige of judicial office to advancing the private interests of the judge or the judge's law firm. 22 NYCRR 100.2(C).