April 25, 1991
Digest: A judge may preside over cases where one of the law firms involved has a senior partner who is a first cousin to the judge’s son-in-law, if the judge feels that he or she can be impartial.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.3(c)(1)(v)
A part-time judge asks if the judge may sit when a law firm appearing before the judge has a senior partner who is the first cousin to the judge’s son-in-law.
Section 100.3(c)(1)(v) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator requires disqualification where “a person within the fourth degree of relationship to either [the judge or the judge’s spouse] or the spouse of such a person, is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.” As the judge’s son-in-law’s first cousin is not within this definition, the judge may preside over the case, provided that the judge feels that he or she can be impartial.