By: Daily Record Staff//July 5, 2013
By: Daily Record Staff//July 5, 2013//
NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Friendship with General Counsel of State Agency
Background: The inquiring judge is presiding in a matter where the attorney general is the attorney of record for a particular state agency. The judge knows the state agency’s general counsel personally because they were both employed in the same government law office for two years. The judge asks whether he must disclose his relationship with the state agency’s general counsel or disqualify himself from cases involving the state agency, when the state agency appears through the attorney general.
Ruling: The committee concluded that where the attorney general is the attorney of record in a case involving a state agency, a judge who has both an ongoing social relationship and a prior professional relationship with the state agency’s general counsel is not required to disqualify himself, provided that the judge believes he can be fair and impartial.