Judge Katherine Mader (Ret.)
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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. You can find links to all installments of Inside the Robe here. October 18 One of my favorite judges, “Uncle Charlie,” is widely considered one of the most decent and friendly judges in the building. He never gets upset, is extremely casual, and is liked by everyone. My staff was talking about the manner in which he starts court every morning. Judges have a choice whether or not to do a formal opening every day...
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. You can find links to all installments of Inside the Robe here. October 11 A defendant on my morning calendar has a corporate look and black-rimmed glasses. A college graduate from a family of attorneys, he makes his living breaking into vending machines on the upper floors of posh hotels. Carrying an expensive leather briefcase for stashing his loot, he faces four years in prison. He is already on felony probation for doing the same...
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 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. You can find links to all installments of Inside the Robe here. September 28 After swearing in our jury, one juror raised his hand. “I didn’t say ‘I do’ when I was asked whether I swore to follow the law and be a juror. I want a sidebar.” The juror was a problem. He appeared shocked that he was selected and frantic to...
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 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.