Opinion 20-175

December 1, 2020



Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (20-175) asking whether you, a quasi-judicial full-time employee, may accept part-time employment with a private agency doing remote legal document review.

         Non-judges “who perform judicial functions within the judicial system” must comply with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR 100.6[A]). The Rules provide that full-time judges shall conduct their extra-judicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with their judicial obligations. Therefore, “[a] full-time judge shall not serve as an officer, director, manager, general partner, advisor, employee or other active participant of any business entity” with limited exceptions which are not applicable here (22 NYCRR 100.4[D][3]). Moreover, full-time judges are prohibited from practicing law (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[G]).

         As you would be an “active participant” of a for-profit agency, extra-judicial participation is prohibited under the Rules. The fact that the document reviewer is subject to a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement does not alter the profitable nature of the business.


         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 19-121 and 96-141 which address this issue.


                                       Very truly yours,



                                       Margaret T. Walsh                                                                                           Supreme Court Justice

                                       Committee Co-Chair


                                       Lillian Wan

                                       Acting Supreme Court Justice

                                       Committee Co-Chair