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How to deal with bad judges
How To Deal With A Bad Judge

Revealing Many Ways For Dealing With Bad Judges

This page is informational. We are NOT lawyers and nothing on this page should be construed as legal advice!

"I can state with certainty that if you go against the status quo in Rhode Island and point out wrongdoing of the judiciary they will ruin your legal practice and make it impossible for you to win a case."
--Quoted by a well known lawyer who was discussing the Rhode Island Judiciary

You should consider a Judge bad only if they show a pattern of behaving or ruling in a manner that is:
  • preventing or hindering you from receiving full, fair, impartial hearings or the full, fair, impartial administration of justice or
  • you have seen evidence which would lead a reasonable person to believe they could be prevented or hindered from receiving full, fair, impartial hearings or the full, fair, impartial administration of justice.

The criteria used in deciding if a judge is bad is NOT how they handle a high profile case or people of influence, but how they handle the poor, prosecutorial misconduct and the unrepresented.  Regardless of how bad a Judge is, they will undoubtedly make SOME correct decisions.  We consider a Judge bad if they do not FAITHFULLY and CONSISTENTLY adhere to their oath of office and aggressively pursue justice for ALL.   Anything less is unacceptable and is the definition of a bad judge.  Also see the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law and the article on dismissals of Government cases.


Bad Judges exist.  We all know they do.  [See Judges as Criminals?]  Very few practicing lawyers are willing or able to expose Bad Judges publicly, for they are at great risk when they must later appear again before the exposed Bad Judge.  Exposure of rotten judicial apples offends and embarrasses the entire judiciary.  When a lawyer, in diligent pursuit of his client's interests, dares stand up to Bad Judges, the "system" locks arms, and seeks to punish or suppress the iconoclastic lawyer.  The system's resistance to admitting the existence of a bad judge can be astounding.  Yet someone must stand up to challenge this cancer within the Judiciary.  Bad Judges need to be weeded out.  It is to the fair, competent judges that the following is dedicated.

Before you go before a Judge, try to learn the Judge's record!

  • Check Caught! to see if complaints or comments are on file.  [Rhode Island]
  • Courtroom Monitoring
  • Case Research [try researching decisions by topic and judge]
  • Investigation [Newspaper Databases, Law Library etc.]
  • Ask local practitioners
  • Ask national court reform advocacy groups
  • For new Judges with no track record, listen to other cases in their courtrooms before losing your right to disqualify

To Change A Judge Before The Trial:

  • READ CASE LAW REGARDING JUDICIAL BEHAVIOR DURING TRIALS
  • PEREMPTORY DISQUALIFICATION
  • DISQUALIFICATION FOR CAUSE (RECUSAL)

    Note: In Rhode Island it is customary for a judge to recuse himself if there is a complaint pending with the state's Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline.  Check your area and jurisdiction.  There are 2 factors to consider.  First, once a Judge starts to stink it usually always gets worse.   Second, the grass might NOT be greener on the other side.

    Now, according to Congress, U.S. Supreme Court case law and Rhode Island's canons of judicial ethics, a judge must bow out of hearing any case in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned.  The Rhode Island Canons of Judicial Conduct say that judges must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety.
     "The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired." 
    Use this wording when moving for recusal.  Also, requests for recusal MUST be in the form of a motion.

  • REMOVAL TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION
  • CHANGE OF VENUE
  • MOTIONS TO DISMISS BEFORE MERITS ARE HEARD
    • Res Judicata
    • No Jurisdiction
    • Sham, Frivolous, Meritless pleadings
  • DELAY IF JUDGE IS ABOUT TO BE ROTATED OFF OF CASE
  • START LISTING THE ABUSES ON CAUGHT! [Rhode Island]
  • FORMAL COMPLAINTS

If It Is Impossible To Change A Judge Before Trial:

Dealing With A Judge After A Bad Ruling

Serve Society By Taking Action To Get A Bad Judge Off The Bench.
Identify And Publicly Expose Biased, Prejudiced And Corrupt Judges!

Related References

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