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44

This wasn’t an actual court case. The show seeks people in civil disputes and pays them to have their case arbitrated by Judy instead of settled in court. (The legal term for this is Alternative Dispute Resolution, I believe.) They sign contracts agreeing to be bound by whatever decision Judy makes. The show then sets up this mock trial, and she is free ...


38

It is true that judges in the US have absolute immunity from any lawsuit for damages arising from their performance of judicial functions. This applies even if those actions were corrupt, malicious, or illegal. The only exceptions to a judge's immunity to a lawsuit is if the conduct alleged was not a judicial action, or if the judge was acting in the ...


36

No, the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct permits County Judges to practice law except "in the court on which he or she serves or in any court subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the county court, or acting as a lawyer in a proceeding in which he or she has served as a judge or in any proceeding related thereto." This is because County Judges in Texas are ...


22

If this case was decided before a real judge, rather than Judge Judy, the impertinent party could be held in direct contempt of court (imposed summarily and punishable by penalties similar to a misdemeanor crime), after being given a moment to make a mitigating statement, but should not have have had the case summarily decided by the judge merely on that ...


20

To answer the titular question: No, judges do not have immunity against criminal conduct in office. A recent notorious examples was the 2008 "kids for cash" scandal in which two Pennsylvania judges were convicted of numerous crimes for sentencing juveniles to for-profit detention facilities that gave them kick-backs. Update: A "shocking" new case I just ...


13

tl;dr: The terms have separate etymologies. Majesty derives from greatness, while magistrate comes from mastering something (people or a trade). Majesty Middle English (in the sense 'greatness of God'): from Old French majeste, from Latin majestas, from a variant of majus, major. Also, c. 1300, "greatness, glory," from Old French majeste "...


12

It depends on what the jury said, and if it's criminal or civil. In criminal cases, the judge may almost never set aside a verdict of acquittal. There is a single case in the US in which this happened, and it was a bench trial (no jury). That case featured the defendant bribing his trial judge; the Seventh Circuit held that he was never in jeopardy due to ...


10

I will only address this part of the question: Who would be able to authoritatively decide the constitutionality of such a question, with all Supreme Court justices having clear conflict of interest on the matter? The Supreme Court could still hear such a case, as the justices make their own decisions about when to recuse themselves. In particular, they ...


9

@Dale M is basically correct, but fudges a bit on the process. The court issuing the order would issue an order to show cause to a government official who is alleged by the person who sought the order to have violated the order after having received legal notice (i.e. service) of the order. If that individual fails to appear at the appointed time and place ...


8

For Mr. Petersen, the questions in general should have been elementary. The fact he did not know them is actually quite deplorable. To your questions specifically: Should Mr. Petersen, as a Juris Doctor, know of those things in his sleep? This is the wrong question. The question is: should an individual who has accepted a nomination to serve as a ...


7

The concept of "jury nullification" is not really applicable to civil litigation, whether it's a bench or a jury trial. The short answer is: generally in the United States, civil judges, and civil juries, have to follow the law. If the jury doesn't follow the law, the judge can entertain and grant a JNOV motion on the basis that no reasonable jury could ...


7

It is purely ceremonial. The tendency in modern jurisprudence is towards the practical and away from legalisms and technicalities. Even if a judge used a gavel in some way inappropriately, it would be unlikely to have any legal significance for anyone but the judge. An argument based on gavel misuse would fall into the "fringe-on-the-flag" category of legal ...


7

Your question slightly misrepresents what the article says: Yes, the judge denied the motion which led to the collapse of the case, he did not make a ruling on the substance of the case. The distinction is significant to my mind as the judge was using non-evidentiary knowledge (i.e. what he read in the paper) to make a decision on process; in this case a ...


6

It means exactly what it says: one of the parties (call them A) to the case purchased a life insurance policy that would pay £300,000 (presumably to A) if the judge were to die. Why they did this, we can only guess. But if the case was extremely long, there may have been a greater chance that the judge would die before it ended, and this would presumably ...


6

Not at all Well, except that a contempt of court charge would also apply. The bailiff would make an arrest and transfer custody to the police who would follow their normal process. Witnesses would be interviewed and ultimately testify. The judge , as a witness would not be able to hear the case so it would be brought before another judge.


5

At common law, judicial immunity does prevent judges from being charged with crimes committed while acting as a judge, as well as protecting them from civil lawsuits. But as observed in other answers, American judges are occasionally convicted of criminal offences as a result of their conduct on the bench. When judicial immunity has been raised, courts have ...


5

In the United States, this is known as judgement notwithstanding the verdict. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the judge in a civil trial can override any decision by the jury if they find that no reasonable jury would have reached that decision; for procedural reasons, there must have been a prior motion for judgment as a matter of law in ...


5

To elaborate on @user6726's answer, 28 U.S.C. § 445 states when Federal Judges shall recuse themselves. This would include all Federal Court Judges from the U.S. Supreme Court (highest) to all Federal District Courts (lowest). All other states have statutes or judicial rules that require judges to recuse themselves in similar circumstances. The test for ...


5

The relevant statute, 28 USC 455 simply states what shall be, and does not suggest that the law could be enforced by any particular means. There have been cases where there was a suggestion of a hint of impropriety at SCOTUS and yet things proceeded. In Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 Rehnquist did not recuse himself despite being a White House lawyer and having ...


5

First, Judge Judy is not a real court. Judith Sheindlin was a real judge, but then she retired to be on TV. The show depicts arbitration proceedings, which both parties agreed to. If both parties want it, and if he agrees, you can have arbitration proceedings where R. Lee Ermey presides and keeps order by means of screaming at you and ordering calisthenics ...


5

There is a special type of law enforcement officer, called a "bailiff" who is charged with maintaining order in a courtroom, and often, a bailiff is a direct subordinate of a judge who must follow the judge's orders. Judges can also issue special kinds of court orders, called "writs" which are a direction to a law enforcement agency generally to take ...


5

The exact procedure varies from one district to the next, but generally speaking, it is essentially by lottery. The procedure is typically spelled out in the court's local rules. Jump to page 105 of SDNY's local rules for an example. The lottery system is not entirely random, though. Frequently it is weighted to make it more likely that a case is assigned ...


4

The black judicial robes date back in time hundreds, if not thousands of years. In medieval times, all educated people in the British isles, not just judges wore robes and these were customs descended from the Gaelic people who originally ruled Britain and Ireland. This custom differed from that of the Romans who wore togas. The Gaelic elite wore robes with ...


4

As several other people have stated 28 U.S.C 445 declares that Judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, should consider recusing themselves in such situations. Yet there is no higher court to enforce such a recusal. In such a situation by separation of powers there can be no remedy, except the ultimate remedy of impeachment. Impeachment allows ...


4

Here's one answer: The federal system values judicial independence very highly and takes few steps to deter a judge from challenging existing law. Obviously, a judge who paid no mind to prior case law would see her decisions regularly reversed on appeal. But she can be removed from the bench only through the impeachment process, and lesser ...


4

This probably isn't a ground for an appeal. While a party arguing to reverse a trial court's decision must show that the argument that they are making on appeal was "preserved" by that party at trial by making that argument in the trial court, the converse is not true. Indeed, one of the rules of appellate practice is that a trial court's ruling will be ...


4

If no one objects to a leading question, then the judge does nothing. A judge does not generally pro-actively police the rules of evidence at trial. Also, there are circumstances when a judge has discretion to allow a leading question even when it wouldn't ordinarily be allowed to move the trial along on largely undisputed points or to allow in inarticulate ...


4

Yes it affects them. Judges are pursuing their vocation as a career and there are career paths within the judicial system just as there are in every other career. Screw up too many times and your career ends at your present level. Judges are also professionals and most take professional pride in doing their jobs well. Having a decision overturned is ...


4

This is a somewhat tricky one. judges tend to be particularly sensitive to possibly improper gifts, so it is best to err on the side of caution—the low-value side. I would think a very pleasant floral gift could be obtained and delivered for much less than $100. It may well be that a simple card or letter, in which you write a note explaining how much the ...


4

Yes Ideally a case will be conducted by the same judge throughout, however, there are a multitude of personal, professional and administrative reasons why this might not happen - litigation can take years and like every other workplace people come and go, have changing family circumstances, sickness, vacations etc. A litigant should not be alarmed and ...


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