Judge

An official of the judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Used generically, the term judge may also refer to all judicial officers, including Supreme Court justices.

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Encyclopedia Britannica

A public official vested with the authority to hear, determine, and preside over legal matters brought in a court of law.

In jury cases, the judge presides over the selection of the panel and instructs it concerning pertinent law. The judge also may rule on motions made before or during a trial. In countries with a civil-law tradition, a more active role customarily has been assigned to the judge than in countries with a common-law tradition. In civil-law courts the procedure is inquisitorial—i.e., judges do most of the questioning of witnesses and have a responsibility to discover the facts. In common-law courts the procedure is adversarial—i.e., the lawyers for each side do most of the questioning of witnesses and the presentation of evidence.

There are many kinds of judges, ranging from an untrained justice of the peace to a member of the U.S. Supreme Court or of the Court of Queen’s Bench. In the United States judges are elected or appointed. Most federal judges are appointed for life by the president with the advice or consent of the Senate. The highest-ranking judge in the U.S. legal system is the chief justice of the United States. judgment; judiciary; magistrates’ court; Missouri Plan.

FindLaw

1: to hear and decide (as a litigated question) in a court of justice

2: to pronounce after inquiry and deliberation

Law.com Dictionary

1) n. an official with the authority and responsibility to preside in a court, try lawsuits and make legal rulings. Judges are almost always attorneys. In some states, "justices of the peace" may need only to pass a test, and federal and state "administrative law judges" are often lawyer or non-lawyer hearing officers specializing in the subject matter upon which they are asked to rule. The word "court" often refers to the judge, as in the phrase "the court found the defendant at fault," or "may it please the court," when addressing the judge. The word "bench" also refers to the judge or judges in general. Judges on appeals courts are usually called "justices." Judges of courts established by a state at the county, district, city or township level, gain office by election, by appointment by the Governor or by some judicial selection process in case of a vacancy. Federal judges are appointed for life by the President of the United States with confirmation by the U.S. Senate. A senator of the same party as the President has considerable clout in recommending Federal judges from his/her home state. 2) v. to rule on a legal matter, including determining the result in a trial if there is no jury.

Lect Law Library

JUDGE - Government official with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Other judicial officers in the U.S. courts system are Supreme Court justices.

A public officer, lawfully appointed to decide litigated questions according to law. This, in its most extensive sense, includes all officers who are appointed to decide such questions and not only judges properly so called, but also justices of the peace and jurors, who are judges of the facts in issue. In a more limited sense, the term judge signifies an officer who is so named in his commission and who presides in some court.

Judges are appointed or elected in a variety of ways; in the United States they are appointed by the president by and with the consent of the senate; in some of the states they are appointed by the governor, the governor and senate or by the legislature. In the United States and some of the states, they hold their offices during good behaviour; in others, as in New York, during good behaviour or until they shall attain a certain age, and in others for a limited term of years.

The Free (Legal) Dictionary

To make a decision or reach a conclusion after examining all the factual evidence presented. To form an opinion after evaluating the facts and applying the law.

A public officer chosen or elected to preside over and to administer the law in a court of justice; one who controls the proceedings in a courtroom and decides questions of law or discretion.

As a verb the term judge generally describes a process of evaluation and decision. In a legal case this process may be conducted by either a judge or a jury. Decisions in any case must be based on applicable law. Where the case calls for a jury verdict, the judge tells the jury what law applies to the case.

As a noun judge refers to a person authorized to make decisions. A judge is a court officer authorized to decide legal cases. A judge presiding over a case may initiate investigations on related matters, but generally judges do not have the power to conduct investigations for other branches or agencies of government.

Judges must decide cases based on the applicable law. In some cases a judge may be asked to declare that a certain law is unconstitutional. Judges have the power to rule that a law is unconstitutional and therefore void, but they must give proper deference to the legislative body that enacted the law.

There are two types of judges: trial court and appellate. Trial court judges preside over trials, usually from beginning to end. They decide pretrial motions, define the scope of discovery, set the trial schedule, rule on oral motions during trial, control the behavior of participants and the pace of the trial, advise the jury of the law in a jury trial, and sentence a guilty defendant in a criminal case.

Appellate judges hear appeals from decisions of the trial courts. They review trial court records, read briefs submitted by the parties, and listen to oral arguments by attorneys, and then decide whether error or injustice occurred in the trial.

Wikipedia

A judge, or arbiter of justice, is a lead official who presides over a court of law, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is like an umpire in a game and conducts the trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the parties of the case, assesses the credibility of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgement. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury, although this practice is starting to be phased out in some regions.