April 19, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-33) asking whether you may request that the county court judge transfer all of your cases, which were pending in the court to which you were recently appointed as a part-time judge, to different jurisdictions.
The Committee has previously advised that a newly appointed part-time attorney/judge may not continue to represent clients on cases which not only originated in the judge’s court, but were previously handled by the inquiring judge’s predecessor on that court and were transferred to another local court, only after the inquiring judge assumed the bench. Thus, even if the pending cases were transferred to other jurisdictions, you would nevertheless be prohibited from continuing to represent those clients (see Judiciary Law § 16). Moreover, “a presiding or administrative judge may not transfer, nor may a lawyer-judge seek to transfer to another court, a matter already assigned to a lawyer-judge solely for the purpose of permitting the lawyer-judge, or his or her partners or associates, to continue to appear as the attorney in the matter” (Opinion 08-132).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 16-13; 08-132; 03-105; and 93-76 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice