June 30, 2022
Question: You ask if you may work on an amicus brief that a bar association will file in a high-profile federal appeal.
Discussion: A full-time judge or quasi-judicial official may not practice law (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[G]). Moreover, we have repeatedly advised that a judge should not adopt the role of an advocate (see Opinions 22-37; 19-159; 16-178; 98-77). Here, the amicus brief would inevitably be “advancing arguments on behalf of a party to the proceeding whose interests were adversely affected” by a prior judicial ruling (id.) and could be regarded as an impermissible public comment about a pending proceeding (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[B]).
Accordingly, you may not perform work on an amicus brief that will be filed in federal court by the bar association.
Enclosed: Opinions 22-37; 19-159; 19-121; 16-178; 98-77.