A discussion of contemporary law, policy, and practice in Florida criminal sentencing.

New Year’s Resolutions for Judges

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gavel2Hon. William H. Burgess, III, B.C.S.

In response to my recent post, “New Year’s Resolutions for Young Lawyers,” I have been asked to turn the focus around to the bench and suggest a set of resolutions for jurists.  Here are my suggestions:

#1.  Always bear in mind that you are a servant of the law and not a ruler over the people who appear before you.

#2.  Come to the bench on time and prepared to make rulings on all matters before you.

#3.  Do not let your ego become engaged in any matter.

#4.  Always be polite and listen carefully to those who appear before you.

#5.  Do not make gratuitous comments or statements.

#6.  Base all of your rulings on the law, and not on emotion.

#7.  Be patient and understanding with young attorneys, and encourage them to grow.

#8.  Be patient and understanding with older attorneys, and encourage them to be respectful toward the court and their fellow attorneys.

#9.  Teach the attorneys who come before you that they are counselors first, and litigators second.

#10.  Issue written orders without undue delay, and ensure that the parties receive copies.


Written by Hon. William Burgess

December 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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