Digest: A judge may allow his/her confidential law clerk to continue to serve after the law clerk’s father wins election to the same court.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 8, 100.3 (C)(3)
A judge inquires if his/her confidential law clerk, who was appointed to the position many years earlier, may continue to work on the judge’s staff should the law clerk’s father win an upcoming election to the Supreme Court.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct requires that a judge refrain from recommending a relative for appointment or employment to another judge serving in the same court. 22 NYCRR 100.3 ( C)(3). The Rules of the Chief Judge also prohibit the appointment of court employees who are relatives of any judge of the same court within the judicial district in which the appointment is to be made. 22 NYCRR 8.1. The rule, however, does not apply to appointments made prior to the effective date of the Part i.e., June 28,1996. 22 NYCRR 8.2.
In view of the fact that the law clerk was serving in this position for a long period prior to his/her father seeking election to the court, and prior to the effective date of Part 8, it is the position of this Committee that the judge may allow the law clerk to continue to serve should the law clerk’s father win election.