General Litigation Newsletters
Various task forces, commissions, and committees have studied racial and ethnic bias in the courts. The issue is an important one because the perception of bias undermines public trust in the judicial system. A lack of confidence in the system affects a person's participation in the justice system. Individuals who perceive bias in the justice system may have doubts about the fairness of court procedures and outcomes. They may also be less willing to report crimes, file lawsuits, and serve as jurors.
Laws have been adopted that give both the state courts and the federal courts the power to declare or define the legal rights, duties, obligations, or status of the parties involved in a dispute. In a declaratory judgment suit, the court does not award any damages and does not order either party to do anything.
Judges are subject to standards of judicial conduct. Their actions are required to conform to certain norms and standards that relate to impartiality and ethical behavior. There are codes of judicial conduct for both state and federal judges. This article discusses cases in which state judges have been sanctioned or removed for ethical violations.
A guardian is a person appointed by the court to act on behalf of a person who is considered legally incompetent. A person is presumed to be competent. However, someone can file a petition for guardianship with the court detailing why the person needs a guardian. If the court finds that the person is incapable of making health, personal, or financial decisions due to illness or disability, the court will appoint a guardian. The incompetent person is called a ward.
A lien is a charge on real or personal property for the satisfaction of a debt or legal duty. Liens may be judgment liens, mechanics' liens or tax liens.