Judicial Ethics Committee Releases Opinion on Familial Relationships and Professional Work

Judicial Ethics Committee Releases Opinion on Familial Relationships and Professional Work

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Judicial Ethics Committee has released an opinion addressing a question regarding disqualification when an attorney is related to a judge.

Question Posed: Is a district judge whose brother is county attorney for one of the counties in the judge’s judicial district disqualified in the following situations:

  1. from cases in which the deputy county attorney for the county is the attorney for the State and the judge’s brother did not appear in the case, nor sign the complaint, or participate in any way in the case;
  2. from cases in which the judge’s brother is appearing as attorney, if both parties “agree,” the judge may hear the case and such waiver can later be revoked;
  3. in reviewing affidavits for issuance of search warrants when the brother signs as notary and may have assisted the law enforcement affiant in preparation of the affidavit; and
  4. from appointing the judge’s brother as special prosecutor or guardian ad litem when the appointment is governed by a rotating list.

 

The Committee’s response can be viewed online at https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/ethics-opinions/Judicial/17-2.pdf