Articles

Dreyer: For judges, reform is the norm: Our requirements

There was a time, not so long ago, when judges were “potted plants.” The judicial role was widely reserved, somewhat withdrawn, apart from public statement or positions, and any work to change the legal system was considered improper. Changing standards and challenging times seem to have changed all that.

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Dreyer: Pandemic positives: Confronting the bear

As COVID-19 numbers descend, we are left with a plethora of mixed feelings. Many are overwhelmed with joy and giddiness. Some are still numb and can’t feel anything — yet. And others are trying to make sense of the past two years and the lasting realities that lay ahead. Our courts and judges fit into the latter category.

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Dreyer: Speaking of analogies, how about judges and basketball?

I have always wanted to be a basketball referee. Throughout my sports fan life, I have often seen refs that were good, and some that were not so good. As a new lawyer many years ago, and through 16 years of pre-bench practice, I also saw judges who were good and some who were not so good. I always made mental notes about the essential qualities of both kinds of judges for my future reference.

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IJA: Is justice served — literally?

In 2010, three Columbia University researchers worked with the Israeli justice system and looked at over 1,000 rulings made in the courtroom, over almost a year, about probation and parole. The results showed, as blogger Alex Mayyasi wrote on the website Priceonomics, that “the judges’ decision-making ability was as lousy as a kindergartener’s focus right before a snack break.”

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Indiana Judges Association: Trials inside, outside the courtroom

All of us lawyers live two lives. One is the world of daily work endeavors — cases, clients, decisions, deadlines and problem-solving. The other life of lawyers and judges is the non-legal real world, away from smartphones and computers, outside our office, and outside the courtroom where experiences of family, friends, and private interests fill our personal time.

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