Justice is supposed to be blind, right? And by that we mean that Justice is impartial, favors no side. While that's true most of the time in varying degrees, some of the time Justice seems more blind to the facts than blind to favoritism. In fact, sometimes it seems that Justice is hell bent on showing favoritism to one side over another, regardless of fact or law. Sometimes it seems that Justice is far more concerned with who's your daddy than what's the right outcome.
Again, this doesn't happen most of the time or even particularly often, but when it happens it is like someone busted open a rotten egg in the court room, it stinks to high heaven and everyone, you, the attorneys, the opposing party, the court room staff, the bailiffs and even the judge knows exactly what brought such filth into the result.
When judges get it wrong, it is more often based upon bias. The judge is biased toward mommies or biased toward daddies or biased against foreigners or biased for foreigners, etc. But sometimes, the judges are biased by who your daddy is, or who the other party's daddy is. Who are you connected to? Who is your soon-to-be ex connected to? Our world is still small enough that we constantly cross paths. We form associations all over the place with a whole lot of people.
The rules requiring judicial dis-qualification because of how close a judge is to an issue or a person are unlikely to force a judge's recusal except under the most egregious circumstance, such as ruling on her parent's divorce or maybe former law partner's divorce or maybe the judge's Sunday school teacher, but probably not.
And judges know this. Judges know that the odds are minuscule that they would get reversed. They all but have carte blanche.
So I write this, not to condemn bad judges, for there is a special place in hell for them, but to praise the majority of judges, the good judges, who could get away with being dishonest or corrupt with a small "c," but choose not to because of their strong moral character and fierce adherence to a high ethical code of professional conduct.
Odds are very strong that you won't draw a bad judge. Celebrate the good judge who listens, cares and rules sensibly.
But should you draw the bad judge who is far more interested in who's your daddy than what's your facts, God help you, for there is little even an exceptionally skilled attorney can do for you except for try to keep you out of court and as far away from that judge as possible.
So, seriously, who's your daddy?