July 7, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (15-40) asking what your ethical obligations are in light of your spouse’s recent employment as a director for the regional chamber of commerce, which has over two thousand members. Although you will recuse in cases where the chamber is directly involved, you are unsure of your ethics obligation if a chamber member appears before you.
Your spouse’s recent employment with the chamber of commerce does not require disclosure or recusal when another member of the chamber appears before you. Moreover, it appears that 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1)(c) is inapplicable as that rule requires recusal where, among other things, the judge’s spouse has an economic interest in the subject matter in controversy or has a substantial interest in the matter, facts not present here.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 00-43 which addresses this matter.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)