In Part 1 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explains her intentions in writing the book and presents an illuminative anecdote about one of her first experiences as a criminal trial attorney.
In Part 2 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers some of the context of her personal family history that informs her sense of justice, and then takes us inside the building where she presided as a judge for nearly two decades.
In Part 3 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines her ability to compartmentalize her emotional response to disturbing sets of facts in order to dispassionately preside over the cases that come her way.
In part 4 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines situations where – in spite of her best efforts to remain dispassionate – her emotional responses can impact her day to day decisions on a case.
In Part 5 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader recounts how her own personal experience with prescription medication affected her presiding over the case of a drug-addicted Navy veteran who stood accused of robbery and violent threats.
In Part 6 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader recounts a story that illustrates the delicate balance a judge must hold between making sure that a defendant understands the ramifications of their plea decisions and ensuring that the defendant makes those decisions of their own free will.
In part 7 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines her own compulsion to see justice served and then takes us into the cafeteria at the Criminal Courts Building, as she begins to explain the structure and hierarchy of judges in the Los Angeles County Court System.
In part 8 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader continues her explanation of the structure and hierarchy of judges in the Los Angeles County Court System and then begins to examine her instinctive efforts to foster a settlement between prosecutors and the defendant before a trial begins.
In Part 9 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines some of the differences between judging in the criminal and civil courts, and examines the responsibilities and selection of the presiding judge of Los Angeles County.
In Part 10 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader reflects on her reasons for getting into criminal law, her weathering the sexist norms of the criminal legal process at the beginning of her career, and the importance of the feminist movement to the common presence of women in all aspects of the justice system today.
In Part 11 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers insight into the family-like nature of the staff that works in a criminal judge’s court, as well as the politics of how a criminal court’s workload is managed.
In Part 12 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader reflects on how being an older judge impacts her approach to her work as well as the power lawyers have to seek a judge’s disqualification and the power police unions can have over judges who might preside in a case involving an on-duty force incident.
In Part 13 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores the power dynamics between prosecutors and compassionate judges.
In Part 14 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores how hard it is to ascertain the true narrative of events behind a criminal trial, as well as her gratitude for the moments when she can help uncover hidden truths that serve to liberate wrongfully convicted individuals.
In part 15 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores the temptation for a judge to do what she thinks is right when it conflicts with following the law. She also discusses security threats in a criminal courtroom as well as the particularly difficult task of trying a case involving the murder of a child.
In Part 16 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers a window into the camaraderie among Criminal Court Judges, the efforts that they make to be both fair and decisive, as well as the dreaded prospect of being reversed by an appellate court.
In part 17 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers a searing anecdote of how a prosecutor may use his or her power to disqualify a presiding judge as a tool of vindictiveness, aggression, and intimidation.
In part 18 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader recounts how a vindictive supervising prosecutor thwarted the Judge’s efforts to be fair to the defendant, apparently driven by spite for her perceived challenges to his prosecutorial authority.
In part 19 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader recounts how judges are rated and reviewed by their supervising judges and how a judge’s fear of being transferred out of a plum assignment can impact the way a judge interacts with counsel during criminal proceedings.
In Part 20 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores some of the psychological stresses and peculiarities of being a criminal court judge.
In Part 21 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explains the care taken to prevent jurors from discerning that a defendant is in custody, and offers some anecdotal observations about the behavior and demographics of jurors that she sees in her courtroom.
In Part 22 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores the jury selection process from a criminal court judge’s perspective including techniques she uses to differentiate between jurors who should be disqualified and those who ought to be compelled to serve.
In Part 23 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers anecdotes illustrating how technological evidence can materially impact a case and how a disruptive attorney, defendant, or gallery member might pose a challenge to a judge’s control of order in the courtroom.
In Part 24 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader uses the examples of a gang trial and a drunk driving hearing to explore how a judge might handle issues like evaluating juror anxiety about security during a criminal trial, protecting defendants from facing unduly prejudicial evidence at trial, and confronting attorneys who mislead them.
In Part 25 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers two anecdotes about a defense attorney who pushes ethical boundaries by baselessly attacking the integrity of police officers and by cornering jurors after an adverse verdict. She also explores the limits of a judge’s power during the sentencing phase of a trial.
In Part 26 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader uses the opportunity of another jury trial to explore the process of jury selection in greater depth, including how a judge deals with juror excuses and mischievous attorney tactics.
In Part 27 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines why judges must be careful about how and when they communicate with attorneys in a case, and examines the practical application of procedural rules regarding the use of eyewitness identifications in a trial.
In Part 28 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines a trial that involves a shooting allegedly committed to benefit a gang, a controversial subject. The Judge explores some of the nuances of such a case, and the complicated task of preparing jury instructions.
In Part 29 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines the work of a fellow judge who presides over cases in which prisoners sentenced to life in prison under the “Three Strikes sentencing law” have their sentences re-evaluated. Judge Mader also explores who decides how cases are distributed among judges.
In Part 30 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers anecdotes that touch on issues such as rehabilitation programs, jury dysfunction and the dilemma of whether to give a defendant the benefit of the doubt.
In Part 31 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader takes us through a series of drug cases, and explores the complex pressures that a judge faces in navigating the tactics of prosecution and defense counsel.
In Part 32 of Inside the Robe Judge Mader offers anecdotes of inexplicable strategic trial choices by both prosecutors and defense attorneys and also examines the perils of one police officer testifying against another.
In Part 33 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader weaves an anecdote exploring her relationship with a jury with her perspective on the CJP, the commission that governs the behavior of Los Angeles judges.
In Part 34 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader reflects on controlling a courtroom as a judge, recounts the jury’s reaction alibi testimony in a robbery trial and offers an anecdote on another judge’s disciplinary hearing.
In Part 35 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader conveys why she has resisted any opportunities to transition from the area of criminal law to the more remunerative area of civil law, and takes us through the challenges of presiding over a case where a defendant agonizes over taking a plea bargain, and where the Judge has cause to wonder whether that defendant might be innocent.
In Part 36 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores how a judge’s views and life experiences impact their decisions, and concludes her anecdote about the case in which a defendant agonizes over taking a plea bargain.
In Part 37 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader reveals some of her psychological idiosyncrasies and shares her concern that some of these traits might affect decisions that could have a life-altering impact on others.
In Part 38 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader explores ethics and corruption among judges, prosecutors and police officers, and then relates an anecdote that reveals how systemic inequities favor the prosecution over the defense.
In Part 39 the Judge uses a lull in the criminal cases coming before her to reflect on the culmination of her career as a criminal defense attorney when she represented one of the defendants in the infamous Hillside Strangler murder case. After expressing her admiration for public defenders and bar panel attorneys, she then introduces her transition from criminal defense attorney to prosecutor.
In Part 40, Mader juxtaposes the story of a corrupt couple who embezzled money from an aging retiree and received a relatively light sentence without any likelihood of restitution, against the story of a judge who received a ridiculous reprimand from the Committee on Judicial Performance for doing something that she had received permission to do.
In Part 41 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader uses an incident of a police officer’s flagrant misconduct in a gang murder case to reflect on how such corruption is facilitated by a culture of permissiveness. Mader also explores the limitations on a judge’s ability to root out such behavior.
In Part 42 of Inside the Robe Judge Mader offers an anecdote that illustrates the insidious phenomenon of prosecutors appearing to use their power to play politics.
In Part 43 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader continues her story of a misdemeanor trial in which a prosecutor appears to use their power towards political ends.
In Part 44 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader concludes her story of what she suspects is a political prosecution and also begins an anecdote about a case where an attempted murder victim is jailed by the prosecutor to ensure that he testifies.
In Part 45 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader continues the story of a victim who is being jailed at prosecutor’s request because the deputy DA fears his disappearance and/or self-harm. She discusses the case of a serial drunk driver who has exhausted all possible treatment avenues and now faces arrest and incarceration. And the Judge explores cautionary tales of significant ethical misconduct by judges.
In Part 46 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader continues her story of a love-triangle attempted murder trial, and explains the political implications of her objecting to the Court giving its official sanction to a religious denomination ceremony for judges.
In Part 47 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader brings to a close her tale of a love-triangle attempted murder trial, continues the story of a recidivist drunk driver and offers an anecdote about three self-represented defendants including one disruptive individual who chooses to disqualify her as the judge presiding on his case.
In Part 48 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers anecdotes demonstrating how inconsistent sentencing policies within a prosecutor’s office can lead to unfair disparities in plea bargain offers, and she offers self-criticism of when she does not control her instincts to argue with disrespectful attorneys.
In Part 49 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader reflects on the influence of supervisors within the District Attorney’s office and discusses the seemingly arbitrary nature of sentencing policies.
In Part 50 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader weighs the role and meaning of probation in the criminal legal process and details a case that hinges on a defendant’s broken stereo.
In Part 51 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader describes the complexities of ICE deportation proceedings after a felony conviction and how the jury selection process can sometimes tell the court as much about its officers as it does prospective jurors.
In Part 52 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers insight into challenges that sentencing reform efforts face and explains how attorney behavior can work both for and against efforts to ‘win’ in the courtroom.
In Part 53 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader expresses concern about the influence of the so-called “CSI” effect and the demand for DNA evidence by jurors. She reflects on the intent behind three strikes sentencing, and she answers the classic question, “What do judges wear under their robes?”
In Part 54 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader describes how a judge might weigh the circumstances of a crime which may carry a mandatory sentence under three strike provisions. She also explores how mentorship for new judges can help build confidence and develop their understanding of their responsibilities under the law.
In Part 55, Judge Mader explains the complexities of electoral politics within the judiciary and the implications for defendants, attorneys, and judges.
In Part 56, Judge Mader offers a story about judges undergoing sensitivity training and reflects on policing tactics that may challenge the pursuit of justice.
Part 57, Judge Mader explores how empathy can be a useful tool in the courtroom. She also reflects on the often thankless role of the criminal defense attorney.
In Part 58, Judge Mader discusses the use of confidential informants in gang-related investigations and offers an anecdote exploring how a judge might respond if an attorney appears to be inadequately representing a defendant.
In Part 59, Judge Mader offers insight into the impact of public opinion on sentencing decisions and offers the details in a particularly brutal murder case as an example of some of the senseless violence that comes before her court.
In Part 60, Judge Mader discusses the far-reaching implications of the Brock Turner sexual assault case and the challenge of determining the ‘correct’ sentence for a given crime.
In Part 61, Judge Mader reflects on the dynamics among the Los Angeles County Superior Court branches and explores a phenomenon called ‘Black Robe Fever’ where a judge’s ego becomes inflated because of his or her position.
In Part 62, Judge Mader details her sentencing logic in the case of a defendant who claims he was “sleep driving.” She also discusses challenges in trials that rely on Spanish-language interpretation.
In Part 63, Judge Mader discusses the use of ‘extraction orders’ for inmates that refuse to attend court dates. She also reflects on why she began keeping a diary and what she hopes others can gain from her insight.
In Part 64, Judge Mader considers neutrality in two contexts: Her own need to remain neutral as an officer of the court and so-called race neutral reasons for dismissing potential jurors.
In Part 65, Judge Mader discusses her evolving views of police officers and explores what constitutes ‘the perfect trial.’ She also revisits the topic of race in jury selection.
In Part 66, Judge Mader details a dramatic interaction with a person representing himself and offers addenda to several earlier entries.
In Part 67, Judge Mader navigates her colleagues’ sensitivities while editing a magazine for judges. Mader also explores the fine line judges must walk when talking to defendants about plea offers.
In Part 68, Judge Mader explains the challenges of proving ‘aiding and abetting’ cases, and then reflects on the impact a sincere, empathetic prosecutor can have on the criminal legal process.
In Part 69, Judge Mader discusses the elements a judge must weigh when sentencing defendants with a mental illness or those who have committed crimes during a psychotic break. The Judge also shares a few courtroom management strategies.
In Part 70, Judge Mader details the essential role of anonymity for potential jurors, and then explores how keeping a defendant in custody can be used as a coercive strategy by prosecutors.
In Part 71, Judge Mader considers her experiences as a public defender and how they shaped her approach to presiding as a judge. Also, the Judge’s incidental assignment to a civil case leaves her wondering about the norms of the civil trial environment.
In Part 72, Judge Mader discusses an illegal animal rescue case, and then details the sentencing of a man who destroyed evidence in a gang-related murder investigation.
In Part 73, Judge Mader explains why an expensive defense team can result in a longer trial. The Judge also offers an update on the case of a chronic drunk driver and details the essential role that a court clerk plays in daily courtroom operations.
In Part 74, Judge Mader deals with a surprising incident of mistaken identity. She then details the range of approaches judges take when it comes to their safety and the safety of their families.
In Part 75, Judge Mader considers how the self-description of a judicial candidate on a ballot impacts their likelihood of winning election to the bench. The Judge also discusses a troubling plea in a bar brawl case.
In Part 76, Judge Mader reflects on the emotions generated by being ‘disqualified’ from a case, and then offers her philosophy about the amount of detail a judge owes the court when ruling.
In Part 77, Judge Mader details the process behind criminal sex prosecutions, focusing on the complex scenario where both parties are intoxicated.
In Part 78, Judge Mader explains the difficulties in trying a charge of criminal threat, where the central issue is a defendant’s intent. She also explores the notion of judicial impartiality arguing that judges must recognize their own personal biases so that those biases don’t compromise the integrity of their decision-making.
In Part 79, Judge Mader examines the political pressures surrounding investigations of officer-involved shootings, drawing on her time as the Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department.
In Part 80, Judge Mader recounts a novel excuse offered by a potential juror in an effort to be excused from service. The Judge also explains practical challenges to offering interpretation services to defendants who speak less common languages.
In Part 81, Judge Mader reflects on the care a judge must take when composing instructions to a jury. She also navigates a delicate situation with a disrespectful prosecutor.
In Part 82, Judge Mader assesses the circumstances of potential juror misconduct in a murder trial, and then discusses the contemporary social dynamics of prosecuting sex trafficking cases.
In Part 83, Judge Mader considers the approaches that different judges take to setting the tone in their courtrooms, including strategies to manage difficult personalities and legal community politics.
In Part 84, Judge Mader explains the hierarchy of court assignments. She then details the case of a mentally ill defendant accused of assault and the tension between the need to prosecute crime and the desire to help someone in crisis.
In Part 85, Judge Mader looks back at her reasons for becoming a judge and considers the financial demands placed on the candidates in contemporary judicial races.
In Part 86, Judge Mader examines the circumstances of a so-called Watson murder, where an intoxicated driver kills someone while driving drunk, and details the hidden tragedies she finds among the jury pool.
In Part 87, Judge Mader explains the strategies lawyers use when selecting a jury. The Judge also discusses the endorsement process for judicial candidates and the importance of ethical standards when vetting prospective judges.
In Part 88, Judge Mader considers how to balance chastising an attorney for insufficient preparation while maintaining efficient courtroom operation. She also describes the ‘absurd’ result of legalizing marijuana but retaining severe penalties for marijuana-related crimes.
In Part 89, Judge Mader discusses the complex considerations when resolving conflicts between parties in court. The Judge then looks to the Thanksgiving holiday and reflects on what she is thankful for in the American criminal justice system.
In Part 90, Judge Mader explains the role of a court commissioner and what happens when these court officers make a misstep. She then details the boundaries she sets for herself when friends and family ask for legal advice.
In Part 91, Judge Mader discusses the case of a repeat offender seeking a lesser sentence because of health concerns, while reflecting on an earlier case to muse on unexpected romantic pairings that she sees in court proceedings.
In Part 92, Judge Mader assesses the dismissal of a vehicular manslaughter case based on evidence of faulty brakes. The Judge also explores some of the specific legal perils faced by a defendant who decides to represent themselves when accused of a sex crime.
In Part 93, Judge Mader explains a tactic she uses both to discipline herself to follow the law and to discourage prosecutors from over-charging. She also reflects on a plea deal she approved that she has come to feel is unfair to the victims in the case.
In Part 94, Judge Mader recounts a unique apology from a defendant’s family member to a victim’s family during a sentencing hearing. The Judge also details a catch-22 situation where a defendant is deemed neither competent enough to enter a plea because nor eligible for release without a trial.
In Part 95, Judge Mader concludes her chronicle of a year in the life of a judge. In her afterword, Judge Mader reflects on the family members who got her to where she is today.