Tag Archives: judge

Complaints About Judges

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We talk about lawyers a lot on this blog, including how to complain about your lawyer. What if you have a beef with the judge? That may seem like a stretch; sure, you can complain about the lawyer you hired, but you didn’t hire the judge. Even so, if a judge takes an action that could be considered to be unethical, misconduct, or evidence of mental or physical incapacity, there are ways to complain.

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) has adopted a Model Code of Judicial Conduct that establishes general rules for judges to follow. In a nutshell, … Read More

Judicial Recusal-when should a judge step aside?

Perhaps it’s a term you’ve heard on Law & Order. Or you may remember the calls for withdrawal of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Clarence Thomas from hearing The Affordable Health Care Act case due to alleged conflicts of interest. Both Justices remained on the case, although critics were quite vocal about their participation-Kagan, for her role as Solicitor General in the Obama administration when the Act was signed into law, and Thomas, for failing to disclose his wife’s income from organizations opposed to the Act. Demands for their recusals may have split along partisan lines, but … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Municipal Courts

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Last month we discussed judges (Justices of the Peace and Magistrates) who are not required to have law degrees, and whose courts have jurisdiction over areas larger than a city or town. Judges of city, town, village, and other municipal courts in many states are also not required to have law degrees or be practicing lawyers. These judges only have geographical jurisdiction over their own municipality, and in many states their subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to violations of the municipality’s ordinances.

We reviewed New York’s Town Courts and Village Courts in a 2010 post; with over 1200 such courts, … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Justices and Magistrates

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“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).

American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More

The People You Should Know In A Court Setting

If you are involved in a legal case, there are numerous people in numerous legal roles that could have a major role in your case.  As such, today I dedicated this article to looking at who these people are, and what they do.  Below, I take a look at some of the key roles of those involved in legal proceedings.

Judge:  A judge is the person who presides over the court matters.  There are many different types of judges, and they can either be appointed or elected. Judges are also responsible for writing their opinions, called Court Opinions, once a … Read More