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What If I Think Judge is Biased?

Unless there is a conflict of interest, it is unusual and often difficult to have a judge removed from a family court case.  The idea behind family court is for the parties to have the same judge so that they can become familiar with your family and not have to rehash the history with each new issue.  Many people think that they are treated unfairly. There is no question that judges are human and they tend to remember faces and cases.  If you have been found in contempt or have failed to abide by judge's Orders, they tend to remember.  I often advise that instead of concentrating on the judge, concentrate on your perception and the image you create.  Work with your attorney to create a positive image of yourself.  The judge generally has very little time to made a decision on whether they like or dislike litigants and often can make life altering decisions in the blink of an instant. Ask yourself and seek advice of counsel if you are unsure: 1. Am I dressed appropriately?  Litigants should be dressed in business or business casual attire.  Do not wear "work clothes" unless you work in a professional environment or it is essential as you are heading to or coming from work.  Show the court respect and you are more likely to receive and be treated with respect. 2. Do I act appropriately?  Litigants should listen to the judge as well as the attorneys when questions are asked.  Make eye contact with the judge.  Whisper to your attorney if you have question.  If in a hearing, it may be appropriate to write a note, but don't act like you are in school and studying for a test.  Try to keep emotions in check during a hearing and when the judge makes orders. 3. Are we prepared?  Make sure that you have consulted with your attorney and told him all of the facts that he needs to know.  Make sure that you are adequately prepared and understand what will happen in court. Preparation is a key to success but over-preparation may lead to "scripted" answers and unnecessary expense.  If you are uncomfortable, schedule a meeting with your attorney to discuss.  

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