Opinion 16-49

May 17, 2016

Please Note: As of the Committee’s April 29, 2021 meeting:

(1) The Committee has not overruled its prior opinions prohibiting remittal of disqualification in matters where a judge previously reported an attorney to the grievance committee. 

(2) With respect to whether a judge may publicly disclose the reason for recusal here, in light of the apparent dissonance between Judiciary Law § 9 (eff. December 2020) and Judiciary Law § 90(10), we have advised: “Whether a judge who has reported an attorney to an attorney grievance committee may publicly disclose the reason for recusal, when confidentiality has not been waived, is a legal question we cannot resolve.”  See Opinion 21-45 (but noting that private disclosure to the reported attorney is ethically permissible).

Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (16-49) asking how long you must be disqualified from matters involving an attorney you reported to the grievance committee now that the grievance committee has advised you that the disciplinary proceedings have concluded with no public sanction.

         You are disqualified from presiding over cases involving this attorney for a period of two years after the disciplinary matter is fully concluded. However, such disqualification is not subject to remittal unless the attorney has waived confidentiality regarding the disciplinary proceeding.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 15-117; 15-69; and 08-183/08-202/09-112 which address this issue.

                                       Very truly yours,


                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

                                       Appellate Division, First Dep’t (Ret.)

                                       Committee Chair