March 14, 2019
Digest: A full-time judge may not serve on the board of directors of a not-for-profit credit union that regularly appears in adversary proceedings.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(A); 100.4(A)(1)-(3); 100.4(C)(3)(a)(ii); Opinion 95-51.
The inquirer asks if he/she may, on assuming full-time judicial office, continue to serve on a not-for-profit credit union’s board of directors. The credit union has filed multiple foreclosure actions and claims in bankruptcy proceedings and “may be involved in various collections lawsuits.”
Because a judge’s judicial duties “take precedence over all the judge’s other activities” (22 NYCRR 100.3[A]), his/her extra-judicial activities are subject to limitations (see generally 22 NYCRR 100.4[A]-). Of particular relevance here, a full-time judge may not serve as officer or director of an entity that is likely to “be engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court” (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][a][ii]).
Accordingly, as this credit union is engaged regularly in adversary proceedings, service on its board is incompatible with full-time judicial duties.1
1 A judge may nonetheless permit his/her principal law clerk to serve on a not-for-profit credit union’s board “if such membership does not interfere with the clerk’s regular duties” (Opinion 95-51), since Section 100.4(C)(3)(a)(ii) applies only to “a full-time judge.”