Prosser’s Recount Got Ample Funding
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By: Patrick Marley
August 13, 2011
Experts in legal ethics said Prosser should not sit on the case because state ethics rules say judges cannot sit on cases in which a reasonable person would question their ability to be impartial.
“A lawyer-client relationship is one of the highest fiduciary relationships,” said professor Monroe Freedman, a professor at Hofstra Law School in New York. “The judge has put his trust and confidence in this lawyer in retaining him. The fact that the judge has had this kind of extremely close relationship with this lawyer – a relationship built on dependency and trust – in the recent past is something that might well cause a reasonable person to question the judge’s ability to be impartial.
“Ordinarily a judge listens to each lawyer, giving each lawyer the weight the argument is entitled to without having a thumb on the scale. . . . (This relationship) is one of those thumbs on the scale.”
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