Opinion: 98-32
March 12, 1998
Digest:    A judge may serve as treasurer of a local Civil Service Employee Association at a neighborhood high school.

Rules:    22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(1),
              Opinion 97-33


            A Town Justice inquires whether it is permissible to serve as treasurer of a Civil Service Employees Association ("CSEA") union local at a neighborhood high school.

           The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, (22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(I)) provide as follows:

        A judge may be a member of or serve as an officer,
director, trustee or non-legal advisor of a an organization
or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of
the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or
of an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal
or civic organization not conducted for profit, subject to
the following limitations...
            This Committee has previously advised that a part-time judge may serve as an elected steward and union officer at a New York State Health Department cancer facility and may discuss job related issues with high ranking state officials and members of the state legislature who will vote on legislation affecting the facility and the facility's employees. Opinion 97-33. Accordingly, there exists no per se ethical bar to the judge serving as an officer of the local CSEA union.

            However, the Rules further provide that the judge shall conduct all of the judge's extra-judicial activities in such a manner that they do not cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially as a judge. 22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(1). In our opinion this means that the judge should recuse himself/herself in any court proceedings involving other members of the same union local.