Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Bias In Encouraging Settlement

The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a civil action against a number of defendants arising out of the sexual abuse of a young woman by her priest. The court concluded that the claims were time-barred. One of the issues on appeal was a claim of bias on the part of the judge below and the denial of a motion to recuse. The judge had encouraged the parties (and the parties in an array of related claims) to participate in mediation of the claims. The plaintiff argued that the judge's encouragement of settlement talks demonstrated bias; the court strongly disagreed. It is entirely appropriate for a judge to suggest that parties resolve their claims through mediation. There was no record support for the suggestion that the judge here acted inappropriately: "No less renowned a figure than Abraham Lincoln recognized the desirability of settlement when possible...it borders on the offensive for a party to claim that a justice should be recused for adhering to this policy [of encouraging settlement]." (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2008/02/no-bias-in-enco.html

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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» Trial Mediation and Justice -- the Judge Who Urges Settlement from Settle It Now Negotiation Blog
Thanks to Tulane Law School Professor Alan Childress over at the Legal Profession Blog for alerting us to this item No Bias on Encouraging Settlement about a Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling that a Judge needn't recuse himself for bias... [Read More]

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