March 16, 1992
Digest: An attorney and part-time judge can serve as trial counsel in a criminal case in State Supreme Court.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(f).
An attorney, who recently was appointed a part-time judge, asks if there is any ethical bar to serving as trial counsel, on a pro bono basis, in a criminal case scheduled for trial in State Supreme Court.
Section 100.5(f) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator specifically permits part-time judges to practice law, and restricts the practice of part-time judges only before other part-time lawyer-judges in the same county. This section provides that a part-time lawyer-judge "shall not practice law in any 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." A Supreme Court Justice is not permitted to practice law. Accordingly, the judge may represent the defendant at the Supreme Court trial.