November 8, 2023 In For Attorneys, For Law Students

When the Robes Seem Tilted: Dealing with a (Perceived) Biased Judge


We’ve all been there – that sinking feeling when you walk into court, and your inner monologue whispers, “Oh, not *this* judge again.” (I definitely have one I am not a fan of at Stanley Mosk Courthouse). Whether real or perceived, feelings of bias can be challenging. So, how does one gracefully waltz through this legal tango? Here’s a hint: it might involve more deep breaths than you’d think.

Reflection Before Reaction

Before donning your detective cap, ask yourself: Is the bias real or just in your head? Sometimes, a string of unfavorable rulings can feel personal, even when they’re not. But remember, even if your coffee cup says “World’s Best Attorney,” the judge might not have gotten the memo.

Keep It Strictly Professional


The judge consistently interrupts your line of questioning.


Instead of rolling your eyes (tempting, we know), respond with, “Your Honor, may I complete my question for clarity?” Kill them with kindness, or at the very least, impeccable courtroom decorum.

Documentation, The Attorney’s Best Friend

Maintaining detailed records of each interaction might not magically change the judge’s disposition. Still, it could provide a valuable reference should you ever need to address any consistent, questionable behaviors.

Seek Peer Input

Chatting with colleagues (confidentially, of course) can provide insights. Maybe the judge is equally stern with everyone, and it’s just their version of a courtroom poker face.


While the fantasy of an always-smiling judge handing out favorable rulings like candy is appealing, reality sometimes scripts a different narrative. In those testing times, remember to navigate with wit, wisdom, and maybe a bit of sarcasm tucked safely in your back pocket.

The Mines Law Firm

This piece provides general insights and does not offer legal advice. For representation in any legal matters, consider hiring a skilled professional from The Mines Law Firm. Because while judges might not always be on your side, we are.