Opinion 13-157

February 26, 2014

Dear Judge:

         This responds to your inquiry (13-157) asking whether you may preside over cases brought by the county agency where you previously served as a high ranking county attorney for the agency.


         There is no requirement that a high ranking public service attorney refrain from hearing all county cases litigated by the county attorney’s office for a minimum period of time. However, a judge who has previously served as a high ranking deputy county attorney should not preside over cases involving the county, its departments or agencies, which were pending at the time the judge was employed by the county.

         In addition, the judge must disqualify him/herself from any case in which he/she was personally involved or served as the attorney of record (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[E]). Disqualification for this reason is not subject to remittal (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[E][b][i]; 100.3[F]).

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 07-23; 03-87 and 99-11 which address this issue.


Very truly yours,


                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair