With the retiring of Judge Gregory Roach, I was considering his career, and thinking about what made a him so successful in Worcester. Below are my ideas:
Having never been a judge I can only assume that their job is very difficult at times. Trying to weed through all the testimony and determine what the real actual facts of the case. As an attorney, it is our obligation to convince the Judge that that our version of the story is correct and that they should find in our client’s favor.
It is very frustrating when the judge does not know the law, or the level of proof required, and who bears that burden to prove something, or when the required proof shifts to the other party. The attorney then has an obligation to educate the court. Judge Roach knew the law, something I could count on when appearing in his court.
In my opinion a perfect judge is very well versed in the law, knows all relevant case law as it changes, and can apply the law properly without me having to do any extra work. My focus should always be on the facts and how those facts apply to the law and thus why the court should rule in my client’s favor.
It is very helpful when a judge listens to facts, and when appropriate, gives the parties feedback as how the judge might rule given the limited facts presented. Feedback is most helpful in the Family and Probate Court and Housing Court cases. Sometimes it is the push the parties need to settle a matter.
No matter what, it is not only required, but imperative that judge remain neutral throughout the proceedings, not taking favoritism over a party and rely on the facts of the case and the law when deciding, especially since very decision they make impacts a person and/or family.