Opinion 90-127

September I8, 1990

NOTE: This Opinion is overruled by Opinion 09-04.


Digest:         A judge should disclose that the judge’s son is a summer intern at a law firm which represents a party in a matter before the judge and should preside in the matter only if there is consent of all parties.


Rules:          22 NYCRR §§100.3(c)(1)(ii) and (v); 100.3(d).


         A full-time judge’s son, who is a law student, accepted an offer as a summer associate in a law firm which is representing a party in a matter pending before the judge. The judge states that the son’s temporary employment is in no way connected with the department or the attorney handling the matter. The judge inquires whether the judge is disqualified from presiding further. The judge prefers not to be disqualified in view of the time that has already been spent on the case.

         The Committee notes that the employment of a law student by a law firm as a summer associate often is a prelude to permanent employment of the student by the firm when the law student later is admitted to the bar.

         Given the employment of the judge’s son by a firm representing one of the parties, the judge should disclose the facts of his connection with the firm. The judge’s disclosure should be accompanied by an offer of recusal and the judge should be disqualified unless all parties consent in writing or on the record that the judge continue to preside.

         This Opinion is distinguished from opinion 88-122 where mere disclosure was held adequate where a judge’s daughter, who was a college student, not a law student, was temporarily employed on a part-time basis by a law firm.