Cameron v. Greenhill

In Cameron v. Greenhill, 582 S.W.2d 775, 776 (Tex. 1979), an attorney sued the nine justices of the Supreme Court of Texas complaining of the supreme court's order setting a special fee assessment against members of the state bar association. The trial court dismissed the case, and the court of civil appeals affirmed. Id. at 776. Upon reaching the supreme court, the attorney argued that the justices were disqualified or required to recuse because they were all named as defendants in the suit. Id. at 775-76. The supreme court held that the members were not disqualified because they had no more direct or pecuniary interest in the case than any other member of the bar association. Id. at 776. Regarding disqualification, the court stated: "In applying the rule of disqualification, we should endeavor to follow the spirit and intent of the Constitutional rule. The Constitution does not contemplate that judicial machinery shall stop. If this is threatened, the doctrine of necessity will permit the judge to serve. Hidalgo County Water Con. & Imp. Dist. No. 1 v. Boysen, 354 S.W.2d at 423. Respondents are parties only because they are named as parties. To hold that merely naming a judge as a party would disqualify him would put power in the hands of litigants to frustrate our judicial system." Id.