New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Relationship with corporation counsel – Administer judge’s oath
Background: A new judge has been assigned to a court part where many cases involve claims against the city and are handled by corporation counsel’s office. The judge was employed as an assistant corporation counsel two decades prior, and considers the corporation counsel to be both a friend and a former mentor. The judge asks if the corporation counsel may administer the judge’s oath of office at an upcoming induction ceremony and whether disclosure or disqualification will thereafter be required when subordinates of the corporation counsel appear before the judge.
Opinion: The Committee concluded that a judge-elect who will preside in many cases involving a city may permit corporation counsel to administer their oath of office. Further, a judge’s social relationship with the corporation counsel does not, without more, require disqualification or disclosure when the assistant’s corporation counsel or other subordinates appear before the judge.