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Yes, you can ask that this judge recuse herself from your case. It seems as though this situation could present a conflict of interest, due to the fact that you and the judge have both been employed by the same law firm. At the very least, it would present an appearance of impropriety. If this is called to the judge's attention, I think she will likely agree to step down from your case.
Hope this helps.
Sorry, I misunderstood you. I saw the word "work" in your previous post, and assumed it meant "employment."
I still see this as being a conflict of interest, or at least the situation gives an appearance of impropriety (which is not as "offensive" as a conflict of interest, but still undesirable). If the judge worked for that firm while your case was going on, then she shouldn't be hearing your case now. My opinion is that you should ask the judge to recuse herself.
Well, you can certainly ask that she recuse herself, but in light of your additional information, I'm not 100% sure there is a conflict of interest (or an appearance of impropriety) if she left the firm in 2001 and your involvement with the firm didn't start until 2006.
You would need to file a motion to recuse, setting forth all the background of your contact with this firm, and her employment with it -- basically, all the reasons why you feel she should recuse herself. If she doesn't recuse herself (the decision is hers), you can appeal this issue later, if you so choose.
Again, you can ask, but whether or not there are grounds for recusal seems somewhat iffy, in my honest opinion, since she left that firm before your case started.
A judge isn't precluded from hearing a case involving a litigant that is being represented by a firm for which she last worked eleven years ago. If she was involved in the case when she worked for the firm, or possibly even if the case was floating around then firm from one lawyer to another when she worked there, that would be a different story.
If this firm doesn't represent you now, even if you were to hire them now, it wouldn't knock them off the case for the abovementioned reasons. For example, I practiced law in a small town in Ohio for a number of years. All of the judges in that county had practiced in law firms within the county before they became judges. Their former law partners routinely had cases before them. These judges did not recuse themselves whenever one of their former law partners had a case in their court. Recusal would only happen if they had been involved in a particular case, as an attorney in that firm, that later came before them in court.
Again, you can certainly ask the judge to recuse herself (you don't lose anything by asking), but again, I'm not totally convinced that recusal would be appropriate.
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