October 5, 2009
No Recusal Required
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has affirmed a trial judge's denial of a motion to recuse himself in a personal injury action. The motion contended that the judge's brother had drafted a will for the opposing party 17 years ago. It was further contended that the judge's brother had represented a person with the same last name as the opposing party 10 years ago, although there was no indication that the judge knew this person.
The court found that '[n]othing on the record before us approaches the gravity..." of cases that warranted recusal. The prior cases cited involved a judge accused by counsel of repeated sexual misconduct, where the judge's former wife's stepson was implicated in the matter, and where the judge had recently stated that a defendant's acquittal was an "abomination." (Mike Frisch)
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