By: Daily Record Staff//December 8, 2015
By: Daily Record Staff//December 8, 2015//
NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Judge’s Former Personal Friend
Background: A full-time judge states than an attorney who was formerly the judge’s close personal friend and law partner is currently seeking a position in a government law office. Although the judge and the attorney have been friends since childhood, the two have severed all professional and social ties and are no longer on speaking terms. The judge asks whether he may preside when the attorney’s colleagues or subordinates from a government law office appear before the judge, on matters in which the judge’s former friend is not personally involved.
Opinion: The committee concluded that although a judge must assess his current relationship with a lawyer who was formerly a close personal friend in order to decide if disclosure or disqualification is required in cases where the former friend is personally involved, any such obligations do not automatically extend to the attorney’s colleagues or subordinates in a public law office.