Judges: Disqualification Not Required Where Judge Officiates at Wedding

  Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1 provides that a judge shall be disqualified if “a person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.” Does the fact that a judge officiates at a wedding of a close relative of the adverse party’s attorney require disqualification?

  No, writes the court in Wechsler v. Superior Court citing California Supreme Court authority. When a judge has no personal or social relationship with the attorney and the judge’s only role at the wedding is that of an officiant, disclosure is required but disqualification is not mandated absent additional facts which clearly establish the appearance of bias. [Statutes relating to the disqualifications of judges can be found at Code of Civil Procedure sections 170-170.9.]

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