Judge Should Have Been Recused, But Mandamus Wrong Remedy

Federal case law summary: Recusal, mandamus.

In re Specht. Civil procedure, recusal, mandamus

After suit had been pending about a year, plaintiff brought motion to add party to case. Trial judge's wife was director of proposed corporate defendant, and grant of motion would have required recusal of judge. Motion was heard by judge and denied, and plaintiff brought petition for mandamus.

Court of Appeals stated that the district judge should have recused himself from the motion, but that recusal was not necessary from the case if the motion was denied.

Mandamus, however, would not issue. The court noted that the three judges of the panel had no interest in the litigation, and "can resolve the dispute immediately," holding that a grant of the motion would have been an abuse of discretion.

No. 10-2823, 622 F.3d 697 (7th Cir. Sept. 8, 2010).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

For more information about attorney Clem, please visit his website.
For more information about his low-cost CLE programs, please visit his CLE page.
Return to index of case summaries

Copyright 2014, Richard P. Clem.
Attorney Richard P. Clem is responsible for the content of this page.

Richard P. Clem, Attorney
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: +1-612-378-7751
e-mail: clem.law@usa.net
Minnesota Attorney Registration Number 0192648

Books by Richard Clem:

Please visit my author page at amazon.com

Copyright and privacy notice.