June 7, 1990
NOTE: This opinion is overruled, in part, to the extent it is inconsistent with Opinion 08-132, which introduced a distinction between matters assigned at the outset to a full-time judge and matters transferred after they were previously assigned to a lawyer-judge.
That is, Opinion 08-132 approves a procedure by which a court clerk assigns all matters of an attorney who is also part-time judge to a full-time judge at the outset, so that he/she never appears before another lawyer-judge.
The general rule remains, however, that matters already assigned to a lawyer-judge may not be transferred solely for the purpose of permitting another lawyer-judge or his/her partners to continue to appear as the attorney in the matter.
Digest: It is inappropriate for any judge to transfer a case to a non-lawyer judge solely to permit a lawyer-judge to remain as attorney on the case.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5 (f).
An administrative judge inquires whether a judge, who is permitted to practice law, may transfer a case to a lay judge solely to permit a part-time attorney-judge to remain as attorney on the case.
Section 100.5 (f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that a judge who is permitted to practice law shall not practice law “in any other court in the county in which his or her court is located which is presided over by a judge who is permitted to practice law”. No attorney-judge should transfer a case to a lay judge solely to permit a lawyer-judge to handle the case as attorney.