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Shea v. Porter

United States District Court, District of Massachusetts

April 28, 2015

BETH E. SHEA, Plaintiff,
v.
R. BRADFORD PORTER, Defendant.

ORDER ON MOTION FOR RECUSAL

F. Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge

Defendant R. Bradford Porter has filed a motion requesting that I recuse myself pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) on the ground that my impartiality might reasonably be questioned. I am of course confident that I will provide a fair trial to both sides, without partiality or bias. The issue, however, is not subjective (that is, whether the judge is actually impartial), but objective (whether under the circumstances a reasonable person would so conclude). See, e.g., In re Bulger, 710 F.3d 42, 45-46 (1st Cir. 2013). Under the circumstances presented here-where I am not the trier of fact; where I have exercised my authority to grant a new trial under Rule 59(a), which necessarily required credibility determinations; and where the jury in the new trial will not be informed of that decision-the extraordinary remedy of recusal is not warranted. The fact that I have made certain independent evaluations of credibility of witnesses is not itself a ground requiring recusal. See, e.g., Logue v. Dore, 103 F.3d 1040, 1046, (1st Cir. 1997).

Accordingly, the motion for an order of recusal is DENIED.

So Ordered.


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