October 28, 2004
Digest: Judges may preside over cases where an attorney who recently resigned from the same court appears as counsel and when other former judges and current part-time judges appear.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(B); 100.3(E)(1). Opinions 91-57, Vol. VII; 94-14, Vol. XII.
Full-time judges of the City Court inquire whether they are required to recuse themselves when a former judge who recently resigned from the same court appears as counsel. The judges of the court additionally inquire whether other former judges and current part-time judges may appear before them.
22 NYCRR 100.2 (B) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides that,
“A judge shall not allow family, social, political or other relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment.”
This Committee has previously advised that there is no prohibition against former full-time judges or current part-time judges appearing before judges of a full-time court. See Opinions 91-57 and 94-14. It is for each judge of the court to determine for him or herself whether the relationship with a former full-time judge or a part-time judge is of such a nature that an appearance of partiality might be created. 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1). The mere fact of prior service on the court does not mean that such a conclusion is inevitable. Moreover, the judges of the court must treat the former judges and current part-time judges as they would any other attorney appearing before the Court, without any special recognition or reference to past or current judicial status.