Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Seamus McCaffery has an unusual professional relationship with his wife, Lise Rapaport. Rapaport, for one, is his chief judicial aide. Two, in November, the Inquirer strongly suggested McCaffery got a traffic court judge to fix a ticket for her after she was caught driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Now comes the news that Rapaport, in addition to her Supreme Court job, makes money referring clients to law firms.
If it weren’t a potential conflict of interest enough to be working for a judge and for lawyers at the same time, it turns out her husband has actually ruled 11 cases in which his wife’s clients were involved. And in 8 of those 11 cases, McCaffery voted in favor of those law firms.
For what it’s worth, the couple’s lawyer wrote a scathing letter to the Inky this morning to defend the referrals, and Rapaport’s side-business in general. The letter, however, doesn’t do much to push back against the case (made by several quoted legal experts) that McCaffery had a conflict of interests on his hands. [Inquirer]