January 24, 1991
Digest: A part-time city court judge may preside over cases prosecuted by a part-time city attorney who also appears before the judge when representing private clients.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.3(c).
A part-time city court judge inquires whether a part-time assistant city attorney, who occasionally serves as prosecutor of non-criminal violations of the penal law and the city code, and who has his own private extensive criminal and civil practice, may: (1) appear in criminal and civil matters in the judge's court in the attorney's own private practice; and, (2) whether the attorney's partners may appear in such cases; and, (3) whether his partners may appear in cases prosecuted by the city attorney's office.
No ethical considerations bar the judge from presiding over criminal or civil cases prosecuted, defended, or tried by the part-time assistant city attorney, whether in his official or private capacity. Likewise, no ethical regulations bar the judge from presiding over civil or criminal cases being tried by that attorney's law partners.
The Committee cannot address the further inquiry of whether the attorney's partners may appear in cases prosecuted by the city attorney's office, because the Rules of the Chief Administrator govern only the behavior of members of the Judiciary.