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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 99417
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I am the executor of my Dads estate. The attorney for the

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I am the executor of my Dad's estate. The attorney for the step-daughter is suing me for the balance from the sale of the house for his attorney fees. The question is, the Judge in this matter has twice recused himself from other actions and has now agreed to hear the case. He wants an agreement reached before trial. Why is the Judge allowed to do this? (The previous Judge on the removal as an executor has denied this request)
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. You state:

" the Judge in this matter has twice recused himself from other actions"

What do you mean by this? Other actions as in terms of probate matter? And if so, why did the Judge recuse themselves?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Judge is in Asotin Washington. The last time he recused himself was hearing the step-daughter's request to become executor of the estate, the second time was when the attorney for the plaintiff filed for an explanation of estates accounting and my costs to maintain the estate.( I sent in an extensive synopsis and it should have been dropped) The Judge that agreed to the trial has a conflict of interest to the other heir in the case(my sister). I am sure that conflict with my sister is ongoing.

Thank you for that explanation.

He wants an agreement reached before trial.

This can be requested by the Judge, although it is more of a strong suggestion than an order. The Judge can mandate that both parties attend mediation, and/or strong-arm them to attempt a settlement - this is not unusual. But in the end, if the parties cannot, a trial hearing shall be held.

Why is the Judge allowed to do this? (The previous Judge on the removal as an executor has denied this request)

Per demand of settlement - see above. Again, it is more of a strong suggestion.

Per not recusing one's self, this gets a little more subjective. A Judge is supposed to recuse themselves if they feel that they cannot be fair. However, they do not always do so. If one wishes to attempt to recuse a Judge, this may be done via a Motion for Recusal. In the motion, one would have to show bias:

"Due process, the appearance of fairness doctrine and Canon 3(D)(1) of the Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC) also require a judge to disqualify himself if he is biased against a party or his impartiality may reasonably be questioned. In re Murchison, 349 U.S. 133, 136, 75 S.Ct. 623, 625, 99 L.Ed. 942 (1955); State v. Madry, 8 Wash.App. 61, 68-70, 504 P.2d 1156 (1972). A party claiming bias or prejudice must, however, support the claim; prejudice is not presumed as it is under RCW 4.12.050. Evidence of a judge's actual or potential bias is required before the appearance of fairness doctrine will be applied. State v. Post, 118 Wash.2d 596, 618-19 & n. 9, 826 P.2d 172 (1992); State v. Carter, 77 Wash.App. 8, 11-12, 888 P.2d 1230, review denied, 126 Wash.2d 1026, 896 P.2d 64 (1995); State v. Bilal, 77 Wash.App. 720, 722, 893 P.2d 674, review denied, 127 Wash.2d 1013, 902 P.2d 163 (1995)." State v. Dominguez, 914 P. 2d 141 - Wash: Court of Appeals, 3rd Div. 1996.

So if the Judge has not recused themselves, a party can try to get them to do so, although the Judge may still deny the motion. If so, the motion may be appealed to the interlocutory court where the decision may be overturned and the Judge ordered to step away.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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