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Judge

JUDGE

To make a decision or reach a conclusion after examining all the factual evidence presented. To form an opinion after evaluating the facts and applying the law.

A public officer chosen or elected to preside over and to administer the law in a court of justice; one who controls the proceedings in a courtroom and decidesquestions of lawor discretion.

As a verb the term judge generally describes a process of evaluation and decision. In a legal case this process may be conducted by either a judge or a jury. Decisions in any case must be based on applicable law. Where the case calls for a jury verdict, the judge tells the jury what law applies to the case.

As a noun judge refers to a person authorized to make decisions. A judge is a court officer authorized to decide legal cases. A judge presiding over a case may initiate investigations on related matters, but generally judges do not have the power to conduct investigations for other branches or agencies of government.

Judges must decide cases based on the applicable law. In some cases a judge may be asked to declare that a certain law is unconstitutional. Judges have the power to rule that a law is unconstitutional and therefore void, but they must give proper deference to the legislative body that enacted the law.

There are two types of judges: trial court and appellate. Trial court judges preside over trials, usually from beginning to end. They decide pretrial motions, define the scope of discovery, set the trial schedule, rule on oral motions during trial, control the behavior of participants and the pace of the trial, advise the jury of the law in a jury trial, and sentence a guilty defendant in a criminal case.

Appellate judges hear appeals from decisions of the trial courts. They review trial court records, read briefs submitted by the parties, and listen to oral arguments by attorneys, and then decide whether error or injustice occurred in the trial.

Judges can also be distinguished according to their jurisdiction. For example, federal court judges differ from state court judges. They operate in different courtrooms, and they hear different types of cases. A federal court judge hears cases that fall within federal jurisdiction. Generally, this means cases that involve a question of federal law or the U.S. Constitution, involve parties from different states, or name the United States as a party. State court judges hear cases involving state law, and they also have jurisdiction over many federal cases.

Some judges can hear only certain cases in special courts with limited subject matter jurisdiction. For example, a federal bankruptcy court judge may preside over only bankruptcy cases. Other special courts with limited subject matter jurisdiction include tax, probate, juvenile, and traffic courts.

Justices make up the upper echelon of appellate judges. The term justice generally describes judges serving on the highest court in a jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions a justice may be any appellate judge.

Judges are either appointed or elected. On the federal level, district court judges, appellate court judges, and justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president subject to the approval of Congress. On the state level, judges may be appointed by the governor, selected by a joint ballot of the two houses of the state legislature, or elected by the voters of the state.

On the federal level, judges have lifetime tenure. Most state court judges hold their office for a specified number of years. If a state court judge is appointed by the governor, the judge's term may be established by the governor. In some states a judge's term is fixed by statute. All state jurisdictions have a mandatory retirement age. In New Hampshire, for example, a judge must retire by age 70 (N.H. Const. pt. 2, art. 78). There is no mandatory retirement age for justices and judges on the federal level.

Judges' retirement benefits are provided for by statute. On the federal level, a retiring judge may receive for the remainder of the judge's life the salary that she or he was receiving at the time of retirement. To qualify for retirement benefits, a judge must meet minimum service requirements. For example, a judge who retires at age 65 must have served 15 years as a judge in the federal court system; at age 66, 14 years; and so on until age 70 (§ 371). If a judge is forced to retire because of disability and has not qualified for benefits under § 371, the judge may still receive a full salary for life if she or he served 10 years. If the judge served less than 10 years, she or he may receive half of her or his salary for life (28 U.S.C.A. § 372).

Judges must follow ethical rules. In all jurisdictions statutes specify that a judge may hold office only during a time of good behavior. If a judge violates the law or an ethical rule, the judge may be removed from office. In jurisdictions in which judges are elected, they may be removed from office by popular vote or impeached by act of the legislature. In states where judges are appointed, the legislature or the governor is authorized to remove them from office, but only for ethical or legal violations. This is because the power of the judiciary is separate from and equal to the power of the legislative and executive branches, and unfettered control of the judiciary by the other two branches would upset the balance of power.

Judges are distinct from magistrates. Magistrates are court officers who are empowered by statute to decide pretrial issues and preside over minor cases. Their judicial powers are limited. In the federal court system, for example, magistrates may not preside over felony criminal trials. They may preside over civil trials and misdemeanor criminal trials, but only with the consent of all the parties (28 U.S.C.A. §§ 631–639).

cross-references

Canons of Judicial Ethics; Code of Judicial Conduct; Court Opinion; Discretion in Decision Making; Judicial Action; Judicial Conduct; Judicial Review.

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"Judge." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Judge." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/judge

"Judge." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/judge

judge

judge / jəj/ • n. a public official appointed to decide cases in a court of law. ∎  a person who decides the results of a competition. ∎  an official at a sports contest who watches for infractions of the rules. ∎  a person able or qualified to give an opinion on something: she was a good judge of character. ∎  a leader having temporary authority in ancient Israel in the period between Joshua and the kings. See also Judges. • v. [tr.] form an opinion or conclusion about: scientists were judged according to competence | it is hard to judge whether such opposition is justified | [intr.] judging from his letters home, Monty was in good spirits. ∎  decide (a case) in court: other cases were judged by tribunal. ∎  [tr.] give a verdict on (someone) in court: she was judged innocent of murder. ∎  decide the results of (a competition). DERIVATIVES: judge·ship / ship/ n.

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"judge." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"judge." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge-1

"judge." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge-1

judge

judge proverbially taken as a type of gravity and sobriety.

The office of a judge is referred to as the Bench; in the UK, a judge formally wears scarlet robes trimmed with ermine, sometimes alluded to as symbolizing the office.

In ancient Israel, a judge was a leader having temporary authority in the period between Joshua and the kings.

The word comes (in Middle English, via Old French) from Latin judex, judic-, from jus ‘law’ + dicere ‘to say’.
judge not, that ye be not judged used as a warning against overhasty criticism of someone. The saying is recorded from the late 15th century, originally with biblical allusion to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1.
no one should be judge in his own cause it is impossible to be impartial where your own interest is involved. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 15th century, and is found also as a Latin legal maxim, nemo debet esse iudex in propria causa.

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"judge." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"judge." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge

"judge." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge

judge

judge Any officer appointed by the state to administer the law. Judges are raised from the bar to preside over courts. Their chief duties are to conduct court cases fairly, to arrive at a conclusion (or to direct a jury to a conclusion) and to pass sentence. Provided they act within their judicial authority, no action lies against judges.

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"judge." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"judge." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/judge

"judge." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/judge

judge

judge officer appointed to administer the law; arbiter, umpire. XIV. —OF. juge :- L. jūdex, jūdic-, f. jūs right, law + -dicus speaking (see DICTION).
So vb. XIII. —(O)F. juger :- L.jūdicāre. judg(e)ment XIII. —(O)F. jugement, f. juger. Hence judgmatic(al) judicious. XIX.

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"judge." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"judge." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge-2

"judge." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge-2

judge

judgeadjudge, begrudge, bludge, budge, drudge, fudge, grudge, judge, misjudge, nudge, pudge, sludge, smudge, trudge

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"judge." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"judge." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/judge-0