August 29,1983

Opinion No. 83/10
Spouse's employment


This is in response to your inquiry of June 29,1983. You want to know whether you must recuse yourself in cases in which Legal Services Corporation represents a party if your wife is employed there. You also asked whether our answer would be any different if her arrangement with Legal Services was as an independent contractor.

The committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges has previously issued a series of opinions advising judges there is no impropriety in their presiding over cases handled by the State Attorney, Public Defender, or private law firms when their children were employed by those entities in some non-advocate position. Those cases are controlling here. Of the five members of the Committee responding, all were unanimous your wife's employment presents no need for recusal.

As to her arrangement with Legal Services Corporation, it makes no difference whether she is an employee or an independent contractor.

Yours truly,

James T. Carlisle
Chairman, Committee on Standards
of Conduct Governing Judges

Participating members: Judges Carlisle, Booth, Grube, Tedder, and attorney-at-law Samuel J. Powers, Jr.