March 11, 1999
A part-time town justice who practices law may not represent a client in
a property tax assessment reduction proceeding brought against the town
in which the judge's court is located.
22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4);
Opinions 94-29 (Vol. XII);
90-59/90-65 (Vol. V); 89-59,
89-85 (Vol. IV); 88-90 (Vol. II).
A part-time town justice inquires whether it is ethically permissible to represent a private client in a "proceeding for Article 7 relief" against the town in which the judge's court is located.
The Committee has previously stated that "(t)he position of town justice is inconsistent with prosecuting tax certiorari proceedings on behalf of private clients against the town in which the justice's court is located and such representation could project an appearance . . . of impropriety . . . ." Opinion 94-29 (Vol. XII) citing [former] section 100.5(h), now section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct; Opinions 88-90 (Vol. II); 89-59, 89-85 (Vol. IV); Joint Opinion 90-59/90-65 (Vol. V). Pursuant to this well-established position of the Committee, we conclude that the inquiring judge should not represent the client in the proceeding in question.