Houston, TX asked in Criminal Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Constitutional Law for Louisiana

Q: Should a judge recuse themselves if they were once your attorney on a previous case?

The judge presiding over my husbands case was his attorney on a previous charge. He was convicted and sentenced to armed robbery and poss of a firearm by a convicted felon. They then added the habitual offender enhancement in which he was sent to 99 yrs w/o benefits. The judge did recuse himself for the sentencing but not the trial itself. It was a trial by judge, not jury. Are there any cases that would help us fight this? And what is the exact law on judges recusing themselves? Louisiana, Lafourche Parish

Thank you for your time.


1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Stanko
Paul Stanko
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Plymouth, IN

A: Having been a judge, I can tell you that judges are presumed to be unbiased. If your husband was represented by counsel (and I assume he was), his attorney should have asked for recusal if he thought there was bias. If the judge then denied a request for recusal, that could be appealed to a higher court. Trying to overturn a conviction based on bias if you failed to preserve error is difficult.

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