June 16, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (15-108) asking if you may preside when your co-judge’s child, or a law firm with which your co-judge’s child is affiliated as special counsel, appears before you.
You are not ethically prohibited from presiding in cases when the law firm or the co-judge’s child appears before you, provided you can be fair and impartial. And, as long as you so conclude, and absent any different, additional factor that may require disclosure or disqualification, neither is required under these circumstances. As always, you may, in your discretion, choose to disclose the relationship depending on the nature and quality of your relationship with the co-judge.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 12-154 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)