Opinion: 99-170

December 9, 1999

Digest: A judge may preside over cases where a parent or sibling of another judge of the same court appears as attorney, and is not required to make disclosure of the relationship between the attorney and the co-judge.

Rule:  22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1).


            A City Court judge informs the Committee that the father and sister of the Acting City Court judge are both attorneys who practice locally. The judge asks whether recusal is required if the co-judge's parent or sibling appears as an attorney in a pending case before the judge.

            In our opinion, the mere fact that a parent or sibling of a judge of the same court appears as an attorney is not a circumstance leading to the conclusion that the proceeding is one "in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned." 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1). Whether the cases are civil or criminal are of no significance in this regard. Nor is disclosure of the relationship required.