March 16, 1992
Digest: A judge need not disqualify himself or herself when a former close social friend of the judge is a member of the law firm representing a party in a matter before the judge.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(c).
A judge asks if recusal is necessary at the request of a law firm where a partner in the law firm which is representing a party in a matter before the judge is a person of the opposite sex with whom the judge was socially involved some years ago and who has since married another person.
If the judge believes that he or she can be impartial, there is no ethical requirement that the judge disqualify himself or herself in the case simply because this friend of the judge is a member of the firm.