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Monday, March 23, 2015

PICK YOUR JUDGE

California has long had a system in their criminal and civil courts that has fascinated us. When a case is assigned to a judge, a party (the prosecution-plaintiff or the defense) can file a motion to disqualify the judge pursuant to section 170.6 of the code of civil procedure. The lawyer must file an attestation that they or their client has reason to believe the judge would not be fair to their client. The case is then blind filed again. Each party can do this one time, and they do not need to provide any evidence to support their view and their motion cannot be challenged by the other party. 

This is a fascinating way of regulating judges.  Judges develop reputations. Some bad judges go out of their way to cultivate a reputation of being tough on crime. We can think of one judge within the last two decades who would brag in their chambers that they wanted to be known as "maximum _____" for the lengthy sentences they handed down. 

If Florida had this system, lawyers' opinions of judges would be evident in the statistics of disqualification. Some judges would have very few disqualifications (albeit high case loads). These would be the judges that the "market" deemed fair. 
Other judges would have high disqualification rates. These judges would be deemed unfair by the "market". 

It's almost a self regulating procedure. It might well influence judges to give the appearance of fairness (instead of the judge who recently tossed our motion to the suppress back to the clerk with disdain and √©lan while sneering "denied" ). 

What say you? 

Follow @davidovalle305 as he covers closing arguments in a murder case. Ed O'Donnell for the defense. Michael Von Zamft for the state. 
After short deliberations, jury will return Tuesday to deliberate fate of teen in Miami Gardens carjack double murde

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE SUPREME COURT? 
"HOT SUTFF"








See you in court, where we wish we had one free bite at the apple of judicial disqualification. 

2 comments:

the trialmaster said...

I will take easy ed (senior) over VZ any day. If its Jr. then it might be even money.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 3:58. Von Zamft couldn't carry Eds underwear. Especially now that he has deteriorated into a blabbering lunatic.