The inquiring part-time attorney judge must report to the Commission on Judicial Conduct that another judge, while presiding over a case, threatened to file a disciplinary complaint against the inquirer unless the inquirer's client settled the case for a particular sum.
A judicial association may not submit an amicus brief to the Court of Appeals in a pending appeal to express its members' concern, as trial judges, about the practical effects of a recent Appellate Division decision that trial judges lack statutory authority to take a particular action in connection with sentencing. The judicial association and/or individual judges may instead propose changes to applicable statutes which affect sentencing procedures in their courts. However, if it is not possible to advocate for the desired statutory change without publicly commenting on a specific, identifiable case, they must wait until the case is completely resolved.
A new full-time judge may continue to serve as a receiver in foreclosure pursuant to an appointment received before assuming the bench, provided his/her duties are ministerial in nature and completed within one year, if possible.
An announcement by the outgoing political party chair that next year's party meeting will be held "in May 2018" is not sufficiently definite and reliable for judicial candidates to calculate the start of their window period. They may therefore assume that this year's official date will be used again in 2018 and count back nine months from that presumed date.
A judge may not attend a three-day human trafficking seminar sponsored by federal prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies, where the program will focus primarily on strategies for effective prosecution.
While a judge need not separately scrutinize all pleadings to determine whether his/her client is the issuing officer, the judge must not take a guilty plea, either by mail or in person, if the client's role as issuing officer is readily available, such as in those instances where the officer's name appears on the ticket.
An opinion on judges' participation in political speech, including participating in marches, demonstrations or rallies; or publicly expressing an opinion on a pending federal executive branch appointment.
A full-time judge (1) may informally refer at-risk youth to religious or secular educational programs, assuming he/she does not frequently preside in matters involving at-risk youth and such programs do not appear before the judge or accept court referrals; (2) may serve as a paramedic with a local volunteer ambulance corps; (3) may not serve on the board of a regional emergency medical services council; and (4) may participate in a documentary film concerning his/her volunteer activities if it is produced by a not-for-profit entity, but may not participate in a commercially produced documentary.
A judge may, but is not required to, disclose his/her habitability concerns to a local code enforcement officer. If the judge does so, he/she may not preside over the resulting proceeding, and therefore may not issue a warrant for the code enforcement officer to enter the premises.
A judge should not send a thank you note in response to a laudatory ex parte letter from an attorney who recently appeared before the judge.
Where a part-time lawyer judge's law practice associate is representing a client in another court in the same county before another part-time lawyer judge, the judge may not personally participate in the representation by meeting with the client or discussing the case with opposing counsel, even if such activities will take place away from the courthouse. The judge may nonetheless directly supervise a subordinate attorney who is representing the law practice's clients in such matters, provided such supervision takes place in private, without involvement of the client, opposing parties or counsel, or the court in which the matter is heard.
A judge whose law clerk becomes the District Attorney is disqualified, subject to remittal where permitted, from presiding in cases involving the DA's office for one year, even if the judge is presiding in Veterans Court. To the extent lawful, practical and appropriate, it is ethically permissible to streamline the remittal process by incorporating the requisite disclosures and consents into the parties' and their counsel's written agreement to transfer the case to Veterans Court.
A judge may publicly advocate for a change in the Penal Law by writing to executive and legislative bodies and/or officials, as well as other potentially interested parties, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct. The judge need not inform local prosecutors or defense counsel of these activities.
A judge may be a member of an all-female volunteer EMT service which responds to calls from women in a particular faith community who need emergency care, where the service was established to expand opportunities for women in the community and to preserve significant religious or cultural values of legitimate common interest to community members. However, a judge may not serve as director of the entity if that role requires him/her to personally engage in fund-raising and/or recruitment activities.
A part-time judge whose first-degree relative is the police chief for the municipality where the judge presides is disqualified in any matter involving the municipal police department or its officers, subject to remittal where appropriate.
A judge who is dissatisfied with an attorney's explanation of the propriety of his/her conduct in connection with a proposed default divorce decree must determine, based on the facts and circumstances known to the judge, whether there is a substantial likelihood that the attorney's actions constitute a substantial violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and, if so, must take appropriate action. If the judge determines in good faith that he/she is legally permitted and/or legally required to sign the decrees, he/she may do so without violating the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, assuming he/she can be fair and impartial and is not otherwise disqualified from presiding in matters involving the attorney.
A trial judge whose minor child is participating in a charitable fund-raiser may personally solicit funds from family members and fellow judges not subject to his/her supervision, provided he/she does not use or invoke his/her judicial title or status in doing so. A judge may not personally solicit funds from friends or neighbors. A judge may, in his/her capacity as a parent, accompany his/her minor child as the child solicits funds from friends or neighbors, but may not otherwise assist or participate in the solicitation.
A judge may preside in matters involving an attorney who hosted a single fund-raiser for the judge's law clerk's election campaign, but must insulate the law clerk and disclose the insulation during the campaign. This obligation ends on Election Day.
A judge need not disqualify him/herself in a criminal case merely because the defendant, defense witness(es) and/or other individuals connected with the defense have filed complaints against the judge, provided the Commission on Judicial Conduct has not issued a formal written complaint and the judge can remain fair and impartial.
A judge serving on an official court-sponsored legislative advisory committee may participate in committee discussions relating to the judge's recent decision in an ongoing proceeding.
A full-time court attorney-referee may not work part-time as a real estate agent.
Provided he/she can be fair and impartial, a judge may preside in cases involving an attorney who represented his/her third-degree relative on other matters. Disclosure is not required.
Where a judge's spouse, as director of government relations, helps select a law firm to handle lobbying and works directly with the law firm's lobbyists, the judge is disqualified, subject to remittal, from matters involving that law firm. The obligation lasts for the duration of the attorney-client relationship between the spouse's employer and the law firm, but terminates when the relationship ends.
A judge, about to retire fully from the Unified Court System, may agree to be the guest of honor at a not-for-profit entity's fund-raising dinner that will take place after his/her retirement, provided the judge's participation is not announced or publicized until after his/her retirement is effective.
A judge may mentor a high school student through a not-for-profit mentorship program, subject to generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct.