Parties invited to object having Judge Swain preside bankruptcy process
SAN JUAN – Bankruptcy Judge Laura Taylor Swain and her three law clerks were previously associated with law firms that are currently representing entities involved in the Promesa Title III bankruptcy proceedings, according to Frances Ríos de Morán, U.S. District Clerk of the Court.
In a judicial disclosure and procedure for objection issued Thursday, Ríos de Morán said Judge Swain formerly worked for the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP from 1983 to 1996, year in which she left to join the federal bench and currently does not have any financial ties to the firm.
One of her law clerks was also associated with Debevoise and may return after completing her clerkship in September of this year but has not received or accepted an offer with the firm, the disclosure says. A second law clerk was associated with the law firm Stroock and Stroock and Lavan LLP but does not have a future offer of employment. The third law clerk was formerly associated with Proskauer Rose LLP and for Otterbourg but does not have outstanding offers of employment with the firms. None of the law clerks worked on matters related to the Title III proceedings while at the law firms.
“Judge Swain has concluded that, under the circumstances, her recusal is not required. She has further concluded that her impartiality and independence in the matter before her are not affected and, in her opinion, could not reasonably be questioned,” she said.
“The same holds true for each of her law clerks, but will as a precaution screen the clerk formerly associated with Debevoise from matters directly involving Debevoise’s client. However, she would reconsider her conclusions if any party objected,” Ríos de Morán said .
The clerk gave the parties 14 days to send any objections to her but only by mail or hand-delivery and not by electronic mail.