Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A recent opinion of the Arkansas Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee concludes that a judge is not obligated to recuse himself in cases in which one of the parties is represented by the judge's first or third cousins.
The Code prohibits a judge from hearing cases in which a party is represented by someone within a third degree of relationship with the judge. Cousins, as defined by the Code, "are not within the third degree of relationship."
The judge still must consider whether his impartiality might reasonably be questioned, on a case-by-case basis. (Mike Frisch)