Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Motions to recuse judges

I was sitting around a courthouse today, watching the other cases go by, and in one matter the lawyer argued a motion to recuse the judge, which was denied. The lawyer argued, in essence, that after a three-day trial, in his 12-page opinion, the judge got some of the facts wrong. The case was appealed, and the trial court's findings on the merits had been affirmed. The judge said, lookit, this was a complex and hardfought case, and I put into a lot of work into it, and the appeals court affirmed what I did, and there's just no way to infer bias from these alleged mistakes.

I'm not sure I would have filed that motion. The only recusal motions that I've ever known to work are those based on some kind of relationship between the judge (or the prosecutor) and the victim or one of the litigants in a civil case.

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