I never take a case unless I think I can get a good result for the person who hires me. So when that doesn’t happen, my first thought is to blame the judge.
A lot of the time that’s wrong. And it hardly ever does any good.
Most judges I know are extremely conscientious. They try as hard as they can to be fair.
If I try, I can almost always figure out a reasonable explanation for the decision. I can still think the judge is wrong, but no two people think the same.
Some judges seem more favorably inclined to lawyers who appear before them every day. This isn’t necessarily prejudice – most of us know who we trust, and we like to do business with those people.
Judges are no different. A Buckeye County, Ohio (the name’s made up for obvious reasons – there is no Buckeye County) Common Pleas Court Judge may see a lawyer from his own town several times a week.
When a lawyer from Cleveland – whom he has never seen before, and will never see again – appears before the judge, if personal credibility is an important factor in his decision (it shouldn’t be, but that’s life), the Buckeye County lawyer may have an advantage.
Or it may just look like the local lawyer has an advantage. Sometimes, judges can be very friendly, and then rule against you.
Sometimes a judge has a particular view of a lawsuit. Maybe he argued a similar case when he was an attorney, and lost.
Or he might have been exposed early on to a “rule of thumb” which would dictate a different result in the case than the ruling I want.
Part of the problem is that they just hear so much baloney. They have to.
Think about it. Every lawyer’s job is to influence the judge in favor of his client. The lawyer says everything he can say that will help the client – he makes every excuse, says all the good things about the client he can, and ignores all the bad.
That’s one reason I’m not a judge. It would try Job’s patience.
Maybe a judge has a particular view of one attorney. Some judges withdraw from cases if a certain lawyer is listed as attorney for one side or the other.
So are judges “unfair”? Probably not, if you ask them. But a bigger concern is figuring out how to get them on your side – even when they think you are wrong.
More about that soon.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I think a lot about what judges think. A lot. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know the best place to file the lawsuit, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.