October 7, 2016
This responds to your inquiry (16-111) asking if you must exercise recusal if your child gains employment with a law firm for the purposes of studying law and that law firm appears before you.
The Committee has previously advised that if a judge’s child is employed temporarily by a law firm, the judge must disclose the child’s position whenever an attorney from that law office appears in the judge’s court. In addition, the judge must determine whether his/her child had any involvement in the particular matter before the court. If the judge’s child was involved in the matter, the judge must disqualify him/herself. However, the judge’s disqualification is subject to remittal. Remittal is a three-step process (see Opinion 15-224 n 2).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 15-224; 11-94; and 09-04 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice of the Supreme Court