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Please explain Judicial Discretion and how it relates to gender, and self-litigant bias.

Los Angeles, CA |

The Judge believes everything that the Opposing Party says. Always finds fault. Ignores the law. Is he just siding with his Law School buddies? If I hire a Lawyer, they are afraid to call the Judge on it.

Aren't there some areas where the Judge has to do what the law and the Appeals court says?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    Gender bias on the bench exists; it is outside a judge's "discretion"; it is unlawful; and there are ways of handling it when it appears.
    with that out of the way, welcome to the world of litigation. Once you step foot into a lawsuit, you are inviting the judge to do two basic things: decide who is more likely telling the truth; and interpret and apply the law to the factual conclusions. One side wins (although not always what they hoped for) ; the other side loses (although sometimes not as bad as it could have been).
    It is therefore within a trial judge's discretion to believe one side over another, and to apply the law as he or she sees it. A Court of Appeal will not disturb the trial judge's findings on credibility or other facts, but it will make sure that the correct law was applied correctly. But please also remember that most laws give the trial judge a range of options, and exercising those options is what is called exercising permissible discretion. Gender bias is not one of those permissible options, but proving that bias was the motivating factor is difficult to do - it requires more than a hunch.
    I join with my colleagues in recommending that you retain an attorney to help you navigate these waters. That is why we are here.

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  2. Judicial discretion may have little to do with what you describe. It appears more like you do not properly present your side of the case - whatever the case is, since you did not mention that. Just because you have received negative responses from the judge does not mean he is abusing his discretion. Hire a lawyer. You are in over your head.


  3. bias Pro se litigants commonly mistake collateral matters of no significance for important issues, and vice-versa. Pro se litigants often take personally things that are impersonal. In no circumstance does a pro se litigant have a handle on a proceeding that may be described as "objective" or at least "disinterested." In my experience, significant, detectable bias on a judge's part is somewhat rare. Usually judges bend over backwards to give an appearance of impartiality. Not always, though. And where there is a failure to follow the law, there is usually a right of appeal.

    Enlist counsel to help you sort this out.


  4. I agree with both counsel, i would only add that when you step into the ocean it doesn't hurt to have friends with you who know the sharks.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  5. Gender should be irrelevant to judicial discretion. A judge cannot favor one gender over the other.

    I cannot provide any further advice to you, without reviewing your matter in detail. If you are dissatisfied with your lawyer, you are free to termination your relationship with him or her and to hire someone new.


  6. There are some subjects on which the law makes a clear call, but many others in which it is only possible to state general principles, and within those principles there is a fairly wide range of acceptable resolutions. That range is the realm of judicial discretion, and reviewing courts in general will not reverse for any reasonable decision within the exercise of that discretion.

    Over the years I have seen a number of cranky, ill-tempered and non-learned judges but I have never once seen a pro-se litigatnt who was able to handle anything harder more complicated than a traffic ticket with skill, insight and efficiency. Judges in my experience try to be fair to pro se litigants, but they can be a drain on anybody's patience and, by definition, they lack the objectivity essential to the proper handling of litigatin.

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