September 14, 1999
Digest: A part-time judge, who is an attorney may practice law as an 18-B attorney before non-lawyer judges in the same county, but may not accept assignments from or practice in the court on which the judge serves.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(2); 100.6(B)(4); Opinion 91-86 (Vol. VIII).
A part-time village judge asks the following question:
Am I, as a (new) part-time Justice and an attorney, allowed to continue to participate in the Assigned Counsel/18B Panel representation of indigent defendants in those courts where the presiding Justice is not a practicing attorney?
In Opinion 91-86 (Vol. VIII), the Committee answered the identical question as follows:
The inquirer may accept, as employment, 18-B assignments from non-lawyer judges seated in courts other than the inquirer's, in the same county. Under no circumstances may the judge appear as an attorney in the court in which he or she is a judge, nor may the judge accept an 18-B assignment from the judge's own court.
In short, employment as an 18-B attorney is permitted under section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, subject to the limitations on the practice of law by part-time judges set forth in section 100.6(B)(2) of the Rules.