In his State of the Judiciary 2015 address made on February 17, 2015, the Chief Judge of the State of New York Jonathan Lippman addressed - predictably - issues pertaining to the judiciary.
- if a certain judge participated in any social functions/seminars sponsored, directly or indirectly, by attorneys, and where the judge had an opportunity for an ex parte communication with such attorneys;
- whether the judge participated or "served" or "serves" presently on any of the countless "Boards", "Councils", "Programs", "Projects", "Trusts", etc. where participating attorneys have an unlimited opportunity for ex parte communications with judges;
- whether the judge or judge's relatives have social networking connections with litigants or their attorneys, like Facebook friendships;
- whether certain law firms employ judge's relatives and judges in question are in a position of power to influence decisions for such law firms, and whether such law firms appear in the courts where judges preside. Where law firms may have hundreds of attorneys, and where the relation with the judges may be obscured by different last names or common last names, it is absolutely necessary to start requiring judges to publish his or her family trees, up to the 6th degree of consanguinity and affinity, with places of work of the judge's relatives (for purposes of disqualification when judges preside as factfinders - the same as the law for disqualification of jurors);