State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 06-02
Is a part-time judicial officer required to recuse him or her self from hearing cases in which a party is represented by an attorney who is co-counsel with the part-time judicial officer in an unrelated civil matter?
A part-time court commissioner sometimes sits on the domestic relations calendar. A local attorney handles many domestic relations cases. The part-time judicial officer and the local attorney are co-counsel on a relatively small personal injury case which has not gone to trial yet.
The Application of the Code of Judicial Conduct (A)(1) provides that a part-time judicial officer may practice law. CJC Canon 2(A) provides that judicial officers should conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Canon 3(D) discusses those situations in which judicial officers should consider disqualification.
Based on the foregoing provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct a judicial officer is not required to recuse from hearing all cases in which one of the parties is represented by an attorney who is co-counsel with the part-time judicial officer is an unrelated civil case. The judicial officer should, however, disclose that the judicial officer and the attorney are co-counsel in an unrelated pending case to all of the parties in cases before the judicial officer during the pending of that case and if any of the parties object to the judicial officer presiding the judicial officer should withdraw.
Also See Opinion 98-8.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|