April 25, 1996
An attorney who is a member of a law firm to which a part-time judge is
"Of Counsel" may not practice law before another part-time judge in the
22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(3)
Opinions 88-39; 87-10
A part-time acting city court judge has inquired whether a member of the law firm where the judge is "Of Counsel" may appear before another part-time judge in the same court.
Section 100.6 (B)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states that
a part-time judge:
(3) shall not permit his or her partners or associates to practice law in the court in which he or she is a judge, and shall not permit the practice of law in his or her court by the law partners or associates or another judge of the same court who is permitted to practice law, but may permit the practice of law in his or her court in another town, village or city who is permitted to practice law.
In Opinion 88-39, which clarified Opinion 87-10, the Committee held that an attorney with whom a part-time judge shares office space should be considered an associate for the purposes of the Rule.
Opinion 87-10 stated in relevant part: "To the extent that the "associate" is carrying on an independent practice ... he may appear before a judge of a court in another town, village or city who is permitted to practice law, but not in the court in which the part-time judge, with whom he is associated, is a judge."
Based upon the foregoing it is apparent that "associate" is broadly construed and would include members of a law firm in which the inquiring part-time judge is "Of Counsel".