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Sizing up Your Judge

         
                                                                           
 
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Sit in the judge's court, even on a day you don't have to be there.  Before the session, get a copy of (preferably) or copy the list of the cases to be heard that day.  You will need not only the case name but the docket number assigned to the case.  At the session, listen to the parties' stories and to the judge's decisions.  If the judge says, "I'll take it under advisement," you will have to revisit the clerk's office in a day or so and read what the judge decided.  Even the one-word decision (Allowed or Denied), which is the most prevalent type of decision, tells you something.  Look at the motion of the party who prevailed and the opposition of the party who didn't.

You're going to have to learn on your own what lawyers discuss between themselves but do not share with their clients -- because of the disciplinary rule, which warns them not to disparage the court.

If visitors report their experiences with the judges in their jurisdictions, a new webpage entitled "What to Expect from Your Judges" will appear at this site.