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Posted about 4 years ago.

A married judge having an affair with a married probation officer who appears in front of him often on myriad of probation issues and works closely with the judge in drug court. Ethical violation?

Jennifer L. Ellis
Jennifer L. Ellis, Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer - Philadelphia, PA
Posted about 4 years ago.

Judges have different ethical rules they must follow. Here it would depend on whether there is an appearance of impropriety, by that I mean whether there is a question as to whether the judge could be fair (and whether in fact the judge is fair.) If not, it would be the lawyer's job to ask the judge to recuse himself. The fact the judge is having an affair is not a violation of judicial ethics. Whether the relationship with a probation officer is an issue would depend on each individual case. So this actually would be a different question than the one you originally asked. But again, now it becomes the lawyer's job to deal with the issue on a case-by-case basis, or by reporting the judge's conduct. I will tell you, lawyers are loathe to report judge's conduct as negative unless they must. Same with motions to recuse.