Friday, May 2, 2008

The Latest in the Olis Case

Check out Mary Flood at Houston Chronicle - Kelley asks judge to leave the Olis case

(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Bill Olis)

Addendum -  WSJ Blog here.

Commentary - When should a judge recuse him or herself from a case?  There are many times that the answer to the question is easy, such as when the judge is related to a party or when the judge has personal knowledge of the facts in question.  But many times the answer to this question is less clear.  The ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct provides judges with guidance to assist in deciding whether recusal is necessary.  Specifically Rule 2.11 pertains to disqualification (see here).  But as with so many ethics rules, one is often left trying to decide an issue in the gray area of the rules.

For defense counsel, filing such a motion may pose problems.  If the defense counsel is successful, then they have succeeded with their motion and a new judge is appointed.  But if defense counsel raises the issue and is unsuccessful, then one often wonders if they continue their case in front of the judge with a certain stigma attached to their cause.  It is easy to say that judges will not hold this against the party who loses a judicial recusal motion, after all defense counsel is just doing their job.  But this fear may cause hesitation in the filing of a judicial recusal motion.

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