You should consider a Judge bad only if they show a pattern of behaving or ruling in a manner that is:
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 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.
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."
Consider using this wording when moving for drafting a motion for recusal.
Check The Judicial Recusal Information Site For Your State.
Also See Motion To Recuse From 2 RI Governors
Example: see: L'Heureux Motion To Recuse.
See a RI JUDGE'S refusal of a recusal motion and related story
See related example
File appropriate motions to dismiss
Delay If Judge Is About To Be Rotated Off Of Case or Re-Focus Judge's Bias/Anger Against Other Side if possible
Making Record For Appeal And Preserving Objections: FRCP Rule 52 (or equivalent) Findings of Fact Conclusions of Law - if not mandated by local rules, file motion before trial requesting written Findings/Conclusion.
Mistrial and New Trial
List Your Complaints on public forums like Caught.net
File Special Appellate Actions
Early identification of a Bad Judge may be the single most important factor in your litigation. Once one notices a Judge is bad, you can practically guarantee it is only going to get worse. If it is too late to help in your own case, exposure helps prevent similar judicial abuse for subsequent litigants. Consider publicity, picketing and formal complaints like this info from Alaska Judicial Commission and these examples: Gembala Complaint, Caught.net and see this report on the Judicial Disciplinary Process.