September 18, 1990
Please Note: Opinion 12-154 has abolished the requirement that a judge must disclose and/or recuse whenever a relative of his/her co-judge appears. Please review Opinion 12-154 for more information.
Digest: A judge need not affirmatively disclose the relationship nor disqualify himself or herself when an attorney appearing before the judge is the spouse of a fellow judge, where the judges serve on a multi-judge court staffed by more than two judges.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.3(c)
Several judges inquire whether they must disqualify themselves when a spouse of a fellow judge of that court appears before them as an attorney.
Section 100.3(c)(1)(iv)(b) requires disqualification in a proceeding where a judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
The fact that an attorney appearing before the judge is the spouse of a fellow judge in a multi-judge court, that is, a court with more than two judges, is not grounds for disqualification, nor is there an affirmative obligation by the judge to disclose the relationship. To the extent that this opinion is inconsistent with Opinion 88-68 or any other earlier opinion of the Committee, the Committee no longer adheres to those opinions.