Digest: A full-time judge may preside over matters involving (1) a local school district where a member of its board is the sibling-in-law of the judge’s law clerk, or (2) the county legislature when a member thereof is the spouse of the judge’s law clerk, provided the judge discloses to the parties and their attorneys the law clerk’s relationship and insulates the law clerk from involvement in such matters.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2; 100.3(c)(d)
A full-time judge inquires whether the judge may preside over actions where a member of a local school board is a sibling-in-law of the judge’s law clerk or where the spouse of the judge’s law clerk is a member of the county legislature, when those public bodies are parties to the litigation. The judge need not disqualify himself or herself provided the judge is able to impartially preside over the matter. The judge should disclose to the parties and their attorneys the law clerk’s relationship and the judge should also insulate the law clerk from any involvement in such matters. See also Opinion 93-21, Vol. X and Opinion 90-146, Vol. VI.