Opinion 19-36

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][1]-[3]). 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][3][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.”