Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Judges, appeals and some miscellaneous thoughts

No one can ever tell what a judge will do. Most family law judges that I know think that if both parties get upset by their ruling then the judge has done a good job. Think about that for a while and you will understand why lawyers prefer settling a case. As a friend of mine used to say, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

All this came to mind this morning while reading TN Judge Reprimanded for Disregarding Appellate Court’s Order and Upholding Custody Award to Allegedly Abusive Father on the Florida Divorce Law Blog. A judge ignores Tennessee's equivalent of our Child Protection Services and then ignores a reversal from the Tennessee appellate court. For all the complaints that I might have about judges, I have never seen a case this bad. I hope I never do - people have enough fear about our legal system without rogue judges.

The Florida post glances at the one point that does make a difference in our legal system: money.

At least for this Tennessee mother and her child. Who, somehow or other, could apparently afford the appeals.
Not just money for attorneys, but for the expert witnesses and the miscellaneous costs of discovery and filing fees and so on. Appellate costs include paying court staff to prepare the transcript of the proceedings. Money does make a difference.

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