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There are as many ways for a judge to do wrong as there are judges.  It appears to be an innate human capacity to find near an infinity of ways to do wrong to self and others.  When we have an end in sight and a goal which we desire to accomplish, no matter what the strictures and improper or wrong behaviors that are identified, we can find new and creative ways to circumvent them.  Judges are no exception.  This may be the base for the statement by Roy Cohn, counsel for Senator McCarthy's Un-American Activities committee in the 1950s. "I don't want to know what the law is.  I want to know who the judge is."

Judicial wrong doing can appear at any point in a legal proceeding, from the very beginning with the first filing of a complaint or motion to the end when the disposition of the issue is finally proclaimed.  For example, a judge's bias may be evident in the motions granted and those denied.  A judge's preconceived desired result may appear in the appointment of attorneys, guardians ad litem, referees, or mediators.  Findings of fact may include fabricated assertions of a fact which is not true; mistakes as to what evidence actually establishes as fact; or misstatements of factual assertions.  These mistakes may demonstrate the result which a biased judge has already determined ought to be attained.

Judicial wrong doing may include misstatements of case law or inappropriate distinctions between cases in the body of jurisprudence.

Judicial actions toward witnesses may also show the bias and results orientation of a judge.  A judge may show gender discrimination, religious discrimination, racial discrimination, age discrimination, and sexual discrimination, i.e. bias against or for homosexuals or heterosexuals.  A judge may show hostility and prejudgment against a specific defendant or party, either plaintiff or respondent in civil matters, for or against men and/or women.

Judicial rulings on objections during a trial or motion hearing may also show the bias of the judge.  See the section on research to see an example of a scientific approach to establishing judicial bias through the pattern of the judge's rulings on objections made.

Judges' behaviors during a trial or hearing may also demonstrate wrong doing and incompetence.  Judges may fall asleep, show inattentiveness, preoccupation with matters other than the trial or procedure before them.

Judges may act in disturbed or disordered ways outside of the courtroom as well as within the courtroom.  Judges can be alcoholics, manifest mental disorders, and varying levels of personal dysfunction.  Judges can be inconsistent, capricious, arrogant, angry, and hostile.  Judges can treat people in the courtroom with disrespect, meanness, or pettiness.  Judges may also be ill trained, lack knowledge of the law, and be less than competent intellectually.

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This website last reviewed on February 21, 2018.