State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 90-14
To what extent is a judge required to disclose past associations with a law firm or attorneys with whom the judge has previously practiced?
A judge is required to disclose to the parties on the record any known past association with a law firm or attorney which would lead a reasonable person to infer that the judge is partial or that there is a potential for a conflict of interest. Absent such circumstances, the fact that at some earlier time the judge was affiliated with the law firm or office, or that a member of the firm is or was affiliated with a law firm or office in which the judge formerly practiced, does not require disclosure on the record. The judge is required to disclose on the record when an attorney appearing in court or who has signed the pleadings worked directly with the judge before the judge assumed the bench. The judge should also disclose the former association when the judge knows that the client was represented by the law firm while the judge was associated with it.
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