Monday, June 9, 2008
The New Jersey Supreme Court imposed an admonishment of a municipal court judge for conflicts of interest in his representation of a client in family court and civil matters. The judge did not recuse himself from a matter that involved the defendant in the family case. The (unrelated) case had to do with the defendant's failure to connect to the municipal sewer system. The judge then presided over a charge against his own client for alleged interference with custody rights and conducted her arraignment. Opposing counsel in the family court case filed the complaint.
The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct had proposed dismissal and private discipline and further recommended that part-time judges with a private practice "keep and preserve a conflicts list that they can regularly consult in the performance of their judicial duties" to avoid such problems. The court rejected the recommendation in favor of public discipline. (Mike Frisch)