No, this story is not about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who was just convicted of criminal corruption. It's the one about the Supreme Court justice whose wife works as his judicial aide and earns referral fee income on the side,including over $800,000 from a single med-mal case. Some of the firms to which she has referred cases over the last decade have appeared before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, apparently in unrelated matters, without disclosure by the Justice about the referral connection. As a justice, Seamus McCaffery makes $195,309 annually (Michigan Supreme Court justices make $164,610.) As chief administrative judicial assistant, his wife Lise Rapaport makes $75,395 a year. One of the key questions is whether Rapaport's referral activity constitutes the practice of law. If it does, as a court employee she needs permission from the court's chief justice; the chief justice opposes the referral activity.
The facts feel like they've been thrown together for an MPRE practice exam. If you think this is an open-and-shut ethics case, you should read the Philadelphia Inquirer story about the situation: there was no consensus from the five national ethics experts the paper consulted.
HT: ABA Journal