July 27, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-92) asking about your obligations in matters involving the law firm colleagues of an attorney with whom you maintain a “close social relationship” or “close personal relationship” that requires disclosure or disqualifications under Opinion 11-125. It appears that you do not have a social or other relationship with these individuals; the sole basis for considering disqualification or disclosure is the fact that they are the partners or associates of an attorney you consider a close personal friend.
As explained in Opinion 12-85(B), your obligation to disclose or disqualify due to your determination that you have a “close social relationship” or “close personal relationship” with a particular attorney is personal to that attorney; it does not automatically extend to the colleagues at that attorney’s firm. As always, however, if you doubt your ability to be impartial in a particular matter, you should not preside.
For your convenience, we enclose Opinions 14-90, 13-59, 12-85(B), and 11-125.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice