Opinion 94-82

September 22, 1994


Digest:         A judge should direct that in cases where the spouse of the court’s Traffic Clerk appears as attorney for defendants charged with traffic offenses, such matters are to be handled by a clerk other than the spouse of the attorney.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.2(c)



         The inquiring judge states that the Traffic Clerk of the court, who manages the Traffic Division, is married to an attorney who regularly appears in the court representing defendants charged with traffic offenses. The judge is concerned that, under the circumstances, there may be an appearance of impropriety.

         There is, in the Committee’s opinion, an appearance of impropriety under such circumstances. As stated in Section 100.2(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, a judge should not “convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him or her.” Accordingly, the judge should direct that a clerk other than the spouse of the attorney should handle traffic matters in which the Traffic Clerk’s spouse is appearing as attorney.