Do judges know every law applied to a case or does an attorney have the duty to inform the judge?
Both attorneys have the obligation to inform the courts of applicable cases, and most judges also have law clerks to check the briefs of the attorneys and do additional case law research as necessary.
Attorneys however are much more critical in informing the court of the FACTS of the case, since judges usually have a good handle on the applicable case law but no independent way of finding out the facts.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
It depends on the circumstances. No every judge does not know every law. But lawyers do not inform the court of every possibly applicable law. Lawyers as advocates cite to the law that helps to advance the interests of their client.
Employment / Labor Attorney
In general, judges don't know all the law that may apply to a particular case because it is facts that drive the law in most circumstances. Judges do try to figure out the right law and they have clerks to help them in most states. Lawyers argue what aspect of the law best serves the client, but ultimately it is the judge who makes the decision on what law applies. Further, New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct require that attorneys advise the court not only of the applicable law but also of law that directly contradicts their position.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
No, judges do not know every law. Neither do lawyers. It is the lawyer's duty to look up or know the law that applies to a client's case. It may be the lawyer's duty to inform the court as to what that law is; the lawyer cannot mislead the court about the law.
Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about this AVVO Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I am an experienced Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.
Medical Malpractice Attorney
I don't know anyone, judge, or lawyer that knows it all. Some people may think they do, but realistically depending on the legal issue, you should seek the advice of an attorney in his or her specialty. That attorney may not know every law in a given area, but will know how to find the answer. As far as a judge goes, it is the attorneys responsibility to educate the judge if he or she does not know, and provide them with applicable statutes and/or case law.