Steven Franklin Case Study

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In October 2014 Judge Franklin exhibited an extreme abuse of discretion when he failed to recuse himself under 28 U.S.C. § 455 (B) (5) (iii). Judge Franklin had knowledge that his son, Steven Franklin, was an equitable partner with the Owens and Davis law firm representing the plaintiff in the case before him. 28 U.S.C. § 455 (B) (5) (iii) states “[A judge] shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances: (5) He or his spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person: (iii) Is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. § 455 (b) (5) (iii). The plain meaning of the statute requires a judge to recuse himself when his family member’s interest could be affected. The statue requires the judge to recuse himself when he knows that a family member within the third degree has an interest that could be “substantially affected” in the case. The judges’ son is an equitable partner whose interest will be “substantially affected” by the outcome of the case. Not requiring the judge to recuse himself will make society view the court system as…show more content…
Judge Franklin’s son met all the criteria that called for a judge to recuse himself based off of the statute and the advisory opinion of Cannon 3C from which the statue was created from. Judge Franklin knew that his son was a partner at the law firm that was appearing before the court and that his pecuniary interest was of an equitable nature. Because of this, Judge Franklin was aware of every factor that would require him to recuse himself. The fact that Judge Franklin did not recuse himself is an abuse of his discretion. A discretion that the legislators did not give to judges under the statute 28 U.S.C. 455
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