March 27, 2014
This responds to your inquiry (13-186) asking about your disclosure/disqualification obligations when an attorney, whose child practices law in association with your child, appears before you.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct require a judge to disqualify him/herself in any proceeding wherein the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned (see 22 NYCRR 100.3 [E]). Here, the relationship between you and the parent of your child’s associate is far too remote to cause your impartiality to reasonably be questioned. The relationship between you and other attorneys in the associate’s parent’s law firm is even more remote. Accordingly, you are not disqualified from presiding and need not disclose or recuse when the associate’s parent or other attorneys in his/her firm appear before you.
Enclosed for your convenience is Opinion 06-177 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)