Call Now For Help

732.580.1237

Judge Must Recuse Self If Attorney Opposes Counsel

18
Feb
2010

by in Criminal Appeals

In this recent case decided on appeal, the N.J. Supreme Court held that a municipal court judge must recuse him or herself if any attorney involved in the case is opposing counsel to the judge in any other matter. Note that municipal court judges, prosecutors and public defenders are all part-time in New Jersey.

As such, they often have their own private practices. This inevitably leads to potential conflicts when their opposing counsel on a private matter appears before the judge in municipal court.

State v. Terence McCabe, ? N.J. ?, 2010 N.J. LEXIS 8 (January 25, 2010) – Denial of motion to recuse judge reversed, case remanded for proceedings before another judge. “We are asked to decide whether a municipal court judge must recuse himself when the judge and the defense attorney are adversaries in an unrelated, pending probate case that has been dormant for two years….

Because judges must avoid not only actual conflicts but also the appearance of impropriety to promote the public’s trust, we hold that part-time municipal court judges must recuse themselves whenever the judge and a lawyer for a party are adversaries in another open, unresolved case….

Although there had been no activity in the probate case for two years, Judge Nish and Mr. Albin were still adversaries in an open matter. It is not accurate to refer to the probate case as a prior matter or to their relationship as one involving former adversaries, as the State does. The facts are different. Under the circumstances here, allowing a judge to oversee a case in which the defendant’s attorney is also the judge’s adversary in another pending matter is to invite reasonable doubts about the judge’s partiality. That, in turn, raises reasonable questions in the minds of litigants and the public about the fairness of the proceedings and the overall integrity of the process. For those reasons, disqualification is required in this case.” (Alan S. Albin)

  • //www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A8808StatevTerenceMcCabe.pdf

LOCATIONS

*ALL LOCATIONS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY*

CALL NOW FOR HELP

732.580.1237

CONNECT WITH US

*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey | Rating Methodology | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
The information contained in on this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio or the information, products, or services contained on www.anthonyvecchiolaw.com for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
The results of verdicts and settlements mentioned herein are not typical. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

Site by Consultwebs.com: Law Firm Website Designers / Criminal Defense/DWI Lawyer Marketing.