The Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee responds to written requests from approximately 3,600 New York State judges and magistrates, as well as hundreds of judicial hearing officers, support magistrates, arbitrator attorneys and judicial candidates (judges and non-judges seeking to be elected to judicial office). The committee interprets the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 100) and, to the extent applicable, the Code of Judicial Conduct. The committee is made up of 27 current and retired justices and is co-chaired by the Honorable Margaret Walsh, Justice of the Supreme Court of Albany County, and the Honorable Lillian Wan, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Digest: (1) A new part-time judge who previously represented clients as an assistant non-supervising public defender: (a) is permanently disqualified, without possibility of dismissal, in all cases where the judge previously participated as an attorney and (b) is disqualified, subject to dismissal, from all matters involving his former clients, for two years after the complete termination of the attorney-client relationship. (2) After the two-year period has elapsed, the judge may preside over cases involving such former clients, provided that the judge has absolutely no involvement as an attorney in the specific case before him and in assuming that the judge can be fair and impartial. (3) If the judge becomes aware that a case before him has substantial connections that are material and relevant to a case in which the judge has previously served as an assistant public defender, the judge must fully disclose the connection between the two cases, as well as the nature and extent of the judge’s involvement in the previous proceeding, but may then preside if the judge concludes that they can be fair and impartial.