Well, Recu-u-use Me!

By: Benjamin G. Shatz
– Daily Journal

In his most recent Daily Journal column, Manatt Appellate Partner Benjamin Shatz wrote about the importance of recusing federal judges from disputes they may have an interest in and discussed how a recently established federal database of judicial financial disclosure forms may help both lawyers and judges identify potential conflicts to ensure impartiality for these such cases. 

In the article, Shatz explained how Congress passed the Courthouse Ethics Transparency Act in response to numerous instances of judges failing to disclose financial interests in cases brought before them. Among other things, the Act created a database allowing users to access Federal Judicial Financial Disclosure Reports, which include important information regarding “federal judges’ outside positions (i.e., roles with organizations and entities), agreements and arrangements, non-investment income (for judges and their spouses), reimbursements received, gifts, liabilities (e.g., creditors, including for spouses and children), and investments and trusts.” Shatz went on to examine how a related Californian rule—which is meant to provide information to appellate justices to evaluate if they should disqualify themselves—has posed difficulties in identifying conflicts of interest and how the new federal rule may face similar roadblocks. 

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.  



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