Opinion 07-149

December 4, 2007

Please Note: In December 2020, the legislature enacted Judiciary Law § 9, which states: “Any judge who recuses himself or herself from sitting in or taking any part in the decision of an action, claim, matter, motion or proceeding shall provide the reason for such recusal in writing or on the record; provided, however, that no judge shall be required to provide a reason for such recusal when the reason may result in embarrassment, or is of a personal nature, affecting the judge or a person related to the judge within the sixth degree by consanguinity or affinity.”

          This responds to your inquiry (07-149) asking whether you must disclose your reasons for recusal when you disqualify yourself from cases involving an attorney whom you have reported for “arguably unprofessional conduct.”

          This Committee has advised, in Opinion 07-102, that a judge who exercises recusal when an attorney appears before him/her is not required to disclose the reasons for such recusal. Therefore, in this instance, you are under no obligation to disclose your reasons for recusal when this attorney appears before you.

          I enclose a copy of Opinion 07-102 for your convenience.