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When should a civil judge recuse themselves, or when can a party ask that the judge recuse themselves?

Tempe, AZ |

If a Plaintiff to a civil suit discovers, for example, that the presiding judge to suit is on the same diversity task committee with an attorney that is in the same law firm as the attorney representing the Defendant to the suit, does this present a conflict of interest?

Suit is a personal injury case.

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Attorney answers 2


Probably not. Judges and lawyers participate on committees and in various clubs and organizations. The fact that a another lawyers from the same firm as the defendant;s lawyers sits on the same committee with a judge is not likely a conflict of interest.


Grounds for recusal are usually apparent bias, such as being related to a party or attorney, or having made public statements about one of the parties or attorneys. It's hard to recuse a judge generally because they work to avoid conflicts of interest.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.