Opinion 91-86

September 12, 1991


Digest:         A part-time judge, who also is an attorney, may accept assignment as an 18-B attorney from any non-lawyer part-time judge seated in the same county, except from one in the judge’s own court.


Rules:          22 NYCRR §100.5(f) and (h); Art. 18-B County Law


         A part-time judge, who also is an attorney, asks if it is permissible to accept 18-B assignments from a part-time non-lawyer judge seated in the same county. The inquirer recognizes that pursuant to Section 100.5(f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, he or she may not practice before any lawyer judge in the same county, but may practice before a non-lawyer judge, except in the judge’s own court.

         Article 18-B of the County Law authorizes assigning attorneys to furnish legal representation with compensation to indigent persons in criminal or family court proceedings. Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states:


A part-time judge may accept private employment or public employment in a Federal, State or municipal department or agency, provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s duties.

         The inquirer may accept, as employment, 18-B assignments from non-lawyer judges seated in courts other than the inquirer’s, in the same county. Under no circumstances may the judge appear as an attorney in the court in which he or she is a judge, nor may the judge accept an 18-B assignment from the judge’s own court.