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8

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 ...


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

On an issue of pure law, an appellate court decides if the trial judge got it right or wrong from scratch, and if there is a case that is a better match than the one that the judge used that leads to a different outcome in the case, then an appellate court is likely to find that the trial court's ruling is a reversible error. On an issue of mixed fact and ...


5

The government can’t withdraw The government does not have a right to unilaterally withdraw charges once the case is before the court. All they can do is ask the court to dismiss the case as they have done here. It’s up to the court (judge) to decide whether to grant the motion to dismiss or not. It granted, then the case has gone to completion and the ...


5

The alternative is the same whether just one lower court or many lower courts ignore SCOTUS precedent. An aggrieved parts will appeal the lower court ruling, and the matter will work its way up the ladder until SCOTUS directly rules on this application of the law. This sort of happens all the time, when lower courts don't apply the ostensive "final ruling" ...


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

The decision of a court consists of several things: The orders made A summary of the evidence The judge's reasoning from the evidence to their conclusions of what the facts of the case are The judge's reasoning from the evidence to their conclusions of what the law applying to those facts is The judge's reasoning from those findings of facts and law to the ...


4

Probably moot considering how much time has passed but here goes. California 22349(a) states that no person may drive upon a highway at speeds of greater than 65 mph. So if you're going to be convicted under 22349(a), it doesn't matter if you're going 80 or 90. The charge is that you were doing greater than 65. The judge found you were going 90. 90 > 65. ...


4

While an appellate court may have the opportunity to reverse any individual trial judge every few years, I know that trial judges, in their numerous workday rulings, reverse appellate courts every day. Gregory Kellam Scott, “Judge-Made Law: Constitutional Duties and Obligations Under the Separations of Powers Doctrine,” 49 DEPAUL L. REV.517 (1999) (a ...


4

Probably not The judge is required to decide the case on the basis of the law the parties argue. If neither party draws the judge’s attention to a relevant case it would not be an error of law for the judge to not consider it. Indeed, it would likely be an error of law (denial of natural justice or breach of procedural fairness) if the judge did consider it ...


4

Yes Deciding a case on a basis the parties have not raised is a denial of natural justice (or procedural fairness) and invalid. The reason is very simple, the parties have not had the opportunity to produce evidence or make submissions about C or D that might have changed the judge’s mind about them. Notwithstanding, to successfully appeal, the aggrieved ...


3

Judicial immunity means only that the judge can't be sued by the people negatively affected by his decisions, even if they were made corruptly. The idea is that if this were possible, then anyone who lost a case before the judge could sue him, perhaps falsely claiming that he was corrupt. Defending such suits would be a major nuisance and expense for the ...


3

Judges and justices can file lawsuits like anyone else, but ordinarily the judges who are colleagues of the judge or justice would recuse themselves and it would be assigned to another venue at trial (in the case of a trial court judge), and on appeal would be assigned to judges who don't have a personal relationship with the judge (possibly sitting by ...


3

See also the Rules of Decision Act (28 U.S.C. § 1652) which requires the application of State law in Federal courts, serving a meta-function: The laws of the several states, except where the Constitution or treaties of the United States or Acts of Congress otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in civil actions in the courts of ...


3

The original common law was solely made by judges. Most crimes like murder, rape and theft were creatures of common law. For example the NSW Crimes Act actually abolished the common law crime of rape, replacing it with a number of statutory offenses. Prior to its enactment, when a judge made a ruling on a new aspect of "rape" he (when the law was made in ...


3

It is not inaccurate to consider statutory interpretation as 'new rules made by judges'. For example, Roe v. Wade is well understood by legal professionals to be "the law of the land". Law is a system of rules, with numerous sources: statutes, constitutions, decrees, orders, regulations, and appellate precedent. No statute can be "applied" in a vacuum, it ...


3

Because they are only apparent with hindsight The judge writing the judgement does not decide what is dicta and what is obiter - that is for some future judge considering a different case and deciding if they are looking at a binding (dicta) or persuasive (obiter) precedent. First of all, the vast majority of cases follow precedent; they do not set it. If ...


2

Motivation can reasonably be reduced to the question "What's in it for me?". If you conclude that an action is contrary to your interests (however conceived), you won't be motivated (moved) to take the action. What constitutes being "in your interest" depends largely on your value system (plus lots of philosophical stuff that we don't have space to discuss). ...


2

First of all the court must apply judgement to decide: if it appears to the court that, having regard to all the circumstances, including the circumstances in which the evidence was obtained, the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it. If in their judgement it ...


2

What mechanisms exist to encourage judges to rule justly, or to avoid ruling based on other interests than the law? The answer depends largely upon the system for appointing judges. System 1: About half of the states elect judges. In such a system, election is one of the motivating factors. System 2: I'll use New Jersey to illustrates this. Judges are ...


2

Generally, they can file such a lawsuit, but they cannot judge it. In federal courts, 28 USC 455 applies: (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. (b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances: (5) He or ...


2

Sometimes dissents are issued to call attention to a bad decision in the hope that a higher court or the legislature will address the problem. Sometimes dissents are issued to clarify what the dissenting judge understands to be the scope of the decision (sometimes arguing that it is narrow, other times arguing that it is broad). Sometimes dissents are ...


2

Appellate judges make holdings on matters of law, and generally defer to the fact-finder in a given case (the jury, or sometimes the judge) on factual matters relevant to a case. So in a case that involved certain mathematical arguments, they would generally leave it to the jury to decide whether those arguments were reliable. Put simply, Appeals courts don'...


2

My vague understanding of appellate law is that a timely notice of appeal compels a judge to make a written answer containing those findings. Is that correct? No. A trial court is generally divested of jurisdiction to take any further action when a notice of appeal is filed. The general rule is that a trial court ruling may be upheld for any reason ...


2

Poland introduced a judicial disciplinary panel and faced opposition from most of the other EU members.


1

One argument is that it would break the flow of the judgment which usually proceeds logically through each issue and then summarises them. But primarily it's a style guide issue for the learned judges, perhaps it's the case that nobody has considered doing that before? Another reason might be a sort of "vanity metric" in that it looks complex ...


1

I see two questions here. Since it was a bench trial, the judge can find facts -- so he can find that you were going 90 (and if you were to appeal, that "one statement" would likely be considered adequate support.) But I am troubled that you were charged with one thing, and convicted of another. That doesn't sound legal. You might want to look into ...


1

Appeal proofing decisions is a common practice of trial judges (and even intermediate appellate court judges and state supreme court judges) well known to practitioners and even discussed by law professors in class at times, but I'd have a hard time coming up with a reference where it was discussed. There is probably a law review article that discusses the ...


1

Basic rule of thumb when it comes to judges addressing facts is a judge wears what is called "13th juror" hat - the controlling doctrine is "reasonable person" a jury is considered a reasonable person (judge's view of facts are controlled by "reasonable person's view" so would a reasonable person agree or disagree with your contentions which boils down to ...


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