OPINION 35
March 1951

JUDGES—BIASA judge is not disqualified from a civil suit merely because his son represents one of the litigants. He should not sit in any case unless he is free from bias and the appearance thereof.

Canon 6.

Question

Should a duly elected or duly appointed district judge conduct the trial of a civil cause in which his own son and partner until such election and appointment, represents one of the litigants, or should such judge recuse himself under such circumstances?

Opinion

The committee is unanimously of the Opinion that the mere relationship of father and son, as such, does not disqualify the judge, and it would not be a violation of any of the Texas Canons of Ethics, or of Article 15 of the Revised Civil Statutes, or Article 5, Section 11, of the Texas Constitution for the judge to try the case. Of course, if the case came into the office while the father was a partner, or if he had an interest in the case, or had done any work in its preparation, he should recuse himself. This committee feels that it is the responsibility of a judge not to sit in any case unless he is both free from bias and the appearance thereof. (10-0).