June 24, 2014
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (14-75) asking whether recusal is required when a law partner or associate attorney from a town board member’s law firm appears in your court. The town board establishes your salaries, and recusal is required if the board member were to appear before you.
If the town board member and his/her partner or associate have agreed with respect to a particular case that the town board member will have no financial interest in the case, you are permitted to preside when the town board member’s partner or associate appears (see Opinion 89-102 [Vol. IV]). However, if the town board member has a financial interest in the case, you are disqualified, subject to remittal.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 07-53 and 89-102 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)