There's no doubt that family court is not easy on the mind, body, nor soul. Sure, there are some lawyers, judges, and court employees who are spiritually recharged by the very fact that they are there, helping families in a really meaningful way. Those folks are special and deserve to be paid more.
But there are also many who have been worn down over the years due to the vicious emotional rollercoaster that is family court, or those who could never handle it to begin with. Surprisingly, sometimes even judges in family court can fall into that category of people who have no business being there. And sadly, as the ABA reported, and many families experienced, you don't have to look any further than a Philly courtroom to find a bad example.
Denying Due Process
Judge Lyris Younge may soon earn herself a reputation for being a former bad judge. According to reports published by several outlets, she definitely had a reputation for denying litigants in her courtroom the right to even address the court. Stories abound of families being torn apart without the parents even being allowed in the courtroom, or allowed to testify, or present any evidence. The stories are downright heart-wrenching. The judge's lawyer asserts her inexperience is partly to blame.
Currently, Judge Younge is being investigated by the state's judicial council, and has not been on the bench for over a month. Many of her decisions are being successfully appealed on grounds that she denied litigants due process.
Dealing With a Bad Judge
At some point in every lawyer's career, they're going to deal with a bad judge. Whether it's just a judge on a bad day that makes a mistake, or a Judge Younge-level of consistent procedural errors, the unfortunate fact is that redress may be limited to an appeal, if one is even available. Make sure you establish a record for appeal.
Before filing an appeal, it can be a good idea to seek reconsideration, particularly if the law and the objective facts are in your favor. If you initially caught the judge on a bad day, there's at least a chance they might reconsider their prior ruling.