Judge – a public official appointed or elected to hear and decide legal matters in in court; a judicial officer who has the authority to administer justice

n. (14c)

1. A public official appointed or elected to hear and decide legal matters in in court; a judicial officer who has the authority to administer justice.  *  The term is sometimes held to include all officers appointed to decide litigated questions, including a justice of the peace and even even jurors (who are judges of the facts).  But in ordinary legal usage, the term is limited to the sense of an officer who

(1) is so named in his or her commission, and
(2) presides in a court.  Judge is often used interchangeably with court. See COURT
(2). — Abbr. J. (and, in plural, JJ.) [1]

1. A public officer who conducts or presides over a court of justice.  The words “judge,” “court,” and “justice” are often used interchangeably and, in context, have the same meaning.  See also justice of the peace; magistrate.

judge-made law:

1. Law created by the decisions of judges as opposed to statutory law; precedent.

2. Judicial legislation.

3. Common law.

judge trial:

A bench trial. [2]

     The judge presides in the courtroom.  If a case is tried before a jury, the judge rules on points of law and gives instructions to the jury, informing the jury about the law that governs the case. (The jury determines the facts based on the evidence presented.) If there is no jury, the judge determines the facts and decides the verdict – e.g., finding of guilty or not guilty in a criminal case, or a finding for or against the plaintiff in a civil trial. [3]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[3]: American BAR Association, “How Courts Work > Officers of the Court”: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/court_officers.html


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