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How difficult (relatively speaking) is it to prove that a judge during trial was acting as an advocate for the prosecution?

San Francisco, CA |

There was a very curious ruling during the trial. It is a strange situation to explain because my attorney (public defender) objected to the relevance of a piece of evidence during trial that would have been helpful to me, the defendant. The admissibility was not in question before the trial. I can't figure out why the judge ruled in our favor regarding this piece of evidence without ever seeing it. I understand this will be hard to answer because you will probably need more information.

My attorney was too inexperienced to know the value of this piece of evidence. The judge hypothetically could have known it was helpful to the defendant. She also knew that since she was ruling in favor of my lawyer's objection, then it would not be argued that she was biased against the defendant. The main issue is my attorney objected to the admissibility of similar pieces of evidence based on them not being relevant. The judge ruled that they were admissible. She made the ruling in "our favor" regarding this other piece of evidence after my attorney objected during trial for the same reason he objected to the other pieces of evidence. If one piece of evidence is admissible for one reason, then another piece of evidence should also be relevant for that same reason or they BOTH should not be relevant.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Your assumption is correct.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

  2. More information is needed. Judge rules on admissibility of evidence .

  3. Virtually impossible.
    Considering that the judge ruled in favor of your lawyer's request, the chance that you will be able to show judicial misconduct is almost nonexistant (though of course I don't have all of the facts).
    In an apporpirate case an appeal may be based on inneffective assistance of counsel. In such a case the burden of proof would be on you to show that the lawyer acted below the expected standard of attorneys in his area. The burden of proof would also be on you to show that the attorney's incompetence made a difference (IE that the evidence he excluded was so good that you would not have been convicted if the jury heard it).
    You certainly should consult with appellate attorneys to see if someone thinks there is good cause for appeal, but I would not get my hopes up. Appeals are hard to win.

  4. "My attorney was too inexperienced to know the value of this piece of evidence." You mean you two did not go over your case and the evidence so everyone would be on the same page about the materiality of evidence? As for the bigger question, judges are generally very pro-government in their rulings and in their sentiments, and until the voters decide they are going to elect neutral judges, then the DA's good-ole-boy network will hold sway over most judicial appointments and elections.

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