Judge Doug Smith recently recused himself from a case when the plaintiffs raised questions about his membership in the LDS Church. It became an issue when another church member, Mark Hutchison, joined the defense team for the Health Plan of Nevada. Judge Smith took himself off the case and Hutchison has withdrawn, but is there enough to suggest a bias? And what happens if any litigant can push a judge aside because he shares religious beliefs with an attorney on the other side?
Nancy Rapoport, Professor of Law, Boyd School of Law, UNLV