April 27, 1995
NOTE: Rule 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i) now expressly permits a judge to “participate in the management and investment of the organization’s funds.”
Digest: A judge may not serve on legal and admissions subcommittees of a residential cooperative.
Rule: 22 NYCRR100.2(a), 100.2(c). 100.5(b)
A part-time village justice asks whether he or she may continue to serve on the admissions and legal committees of a residential cooperative. The admissions committee reviews all purchase and sublet applications and interviews prospective purchasers and sublessees, although the power of final approval is vested in the Board of Directors. The legal committee renders legal advice to the cooperative, e.g., by reviewing proposed contractual arrangements and settling disputes with third-parties.
The Committee has previously advised that judges may serve on the board of directors of a residential cooperative, provided that they avoid giving legal or investment advice or participating in decisions likely to lead to litigation in any court (Opinion 88-98, Vol. II, see also Opinion 94-08, Vol. XIII). However, the Committee also has advised that a judge may not serve on an admissions subcommittee of a residential cooperative because by doing so, the judge would participate in decisions which are likely to lead to litigation (Opinion 88-119, Vol. II). The judge should resign from the admissions committee. The judge should also resign from the legal committee because the judge should not render legal advice to the corporative and because, again, participation would embroil the judge in decisions likely to lead to litigation.