Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court Judge David Jones confirmed a yearslong romantic relationship with former Jackson Walker bankruptcy partner Elizabeth Freeman to the Wall Street Journal this week, raising questions about the obligation of judges to disclose relationships that may lead to implicit or explicit bias.

The relationship surfaced in a recent lawsuit against Jones filed by Michael Van Deelen, Texas man who accuses Jones of violating his constitutional rights. Filed last week, Van Deelen’s complaint included property records that show Jones and Freeman bought a home together in 2017. Freeman left Jackson Walker in December 2022 to launch the Law Office of Liz Freeman.