In a current case the Judge disclosed that his spouse is "the office manager in the firm (opposing atty) works at..." All attorneys and parties had no objection. The Judge's ruling favored opposing atty. The entire exchange between judge and opposing atty seemed orchestrated. It has now come to light this opposing atty is VP of the law firm and is therefore the employer of Judge's spouse, not merely a co-worker as parties were led to believe. Does a conflict of interest exist? (One example: the judge has a financial interest in his wife's employment which is dependent on opposing atty). Recusal? Disqualification?
If all attorney's and parties did not object, the time to challenge this issue has likely come and gone. Otherwise, you are questioning whether you can go after the judge for misconduct. The fact that the judge disclosed this issue means they acted as they should have. Should a party or attorney felt it might have been an issue, they could have objected and requested time to determine whether a conflict may have existed. You cannot now, simply because you were ruled against, believe it must have been because of an alleged conflict.
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This is not a mandatory recusal. As long as the judge properly disclosed the potential conflict (which he did), and the attorneys and parties agreed to waive the potential conflict (which they did), it was proper for the judge to preside over the case.
I do not practice in Florida, and I do not know the judge you are talking about. But I can tell you that in all the time I have been practicing law, including four years on the personal staff of a federal judge, I have never -- not even once -- seen a judge allow a personal relationship with one of the attorneys to affect his ruling in a case.
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