October 24, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (11-88) asking whether you may preside in cases where attorneys from a certain law firm appear before you. You state in your inquiry that, for personal reasons, you have decided to disqualify yourself from all cases involving a principal partner in this law firm. In light of this decision, you ask whether you must also disqualify yourself when the other partners or associates from the firm appear before you.
As you have not indicated that the reason for your disqualification involves the other attorneys in the firm and you have specifically stated that you have no prejudice or personal bias against them, you need not disqualify yourself when they appear before you (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[E]); and, concomitantly, you need not disclose the issue you have with a principal partner of the firm.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)