February 10, 1998
This is in response to your inquiry (98-21) in which you seek a determination by this committee whether a part-time judge-attorney should be disqualified in the representation of a party in a matrimonial case pending before you, on th ground that the judge had presided over matters as a Town Justice involving the same parties in which matters allegedly related to issues in the pending matrimonial action were present.
At issue is the application of section 100.6(B) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, which states that a part-time judge-lawyer “shall not act as a lawyer in a proceeding in which the judge has served as a judge or in any other proceeding related thereto” 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(2). As you state in your letter, the Committee invoked that provision in Opinion 96-144 (Vol. XIV).
Notwithstanding the rule and Opinion 96-144, the committee is not in a position to render an opinion in this instance. As a general rule, the Committee provides opinions only at the request of judges (or candidates for judicial office) who seek advice as to ethical questions involving their own conduct. Your letter does not present such a question. Rather, it involves the conduct of another judge which purportedly violates one of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
Accordingly, the Committee declines to issue an opinion in response to your inquiry.