Is it Helpful if Your Lawyer is a Former Judge?

Question: Is it helpful if your lawyer is a former judge?

Answer: No 

If your lawyer was an ex-judge that would sound like he has an “in” in the Court system. This is far from the truth. We have experience in these matters as we have done numerous trials against attorneys who were ex-judges. What I have learned is that the sitting judges have won elections over the ex-judges, and sometimes they ran against each other. The sitting judges may have bad will against the ex-judges and nobody wants there to be an “appearance of impropriety” therefore, the former judge is not given any favors or latitude or courtesy. It is the exact opposite, he/she is treated more sternly or strictly than other lawyers and never given a break or courtesy by the sitting judge. No sitting judge wants to be accused of giving an ex-judge a favor, courtesy or accommodations. 

In addition to the above there are court personnel who may not have liked the former judge. In truth, ex-judges as lawyers seem to experience more difficulties with court staff and sitting judges than an attorney who has never served as a judge. 

In the end, attorneys can be sanctioned or disciplined for misconduct. A sitting judge should remove himself not only from everything that is improper but should reduce any “appearance of impropriety”. This is a very high standard. Clearly a sitting judge must be tough on a former judge otherwise the losing litigant on the other side can make complaints. 

Hiring an ex-judge to be your lawyer is hiring a lawyer who may get fewer favors, accommodations and courtesies given to them because the sitting judge fears an appearance of impropriety. Sitting judges cannot be swayed by ex-judges and are afraid to give any extra courtesies. They will not grant favors to ex-judges, family members or people who contribute to their campaign because sitting judges are too smart to get caught up in improper relationships. 

Be smart yourself and don’t get back to any firm that says they can sway a judge with anything other than their experience and the facts of the case. If you are contemplating divorce and you'd like dependable, compassionate representation, speak with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates today.


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