Especially when Chancery Judges have days they hear motions and temporary matters, you can hear lots of chatter outside or in the hallways about how mean and cruel a certain judge is. How he/she is not being fair to them. They can’t believe their attorney is not jumping up and down going all Al Pacino on this grave injustice. Obviously the judge is sexually attracted to their spouse or spouses’ attorney. And my personal favorite – the judge has been paid off (even if their soon-to-be-ex is broke). Obviously, there is no way they can get a fair trial now, even though this was just a temporary hearing that lasted 15 minutes. This judge has got to go.
Most attorneys don’t mind asking a judge for a recusal if there is a valid reason. Usually, the request is not necessary, as the judge will do a voluntarily recusal on their own motion. But what if there is no valid reason? What if you just don’t like the judge? Can you get a new one? Not likely. Chancery judges are usually assigned to cases at random. They have the case until it is concluded. Getting mad at your lawyer usually will not help if they don’t feel your doubts about the judge rise to the level of asking for a recusal. Long after your case is over; your lawyer will have other cases in front of this judge.
Being a Chancery Judge would have to rank as one of the hardest jobs I can imagine. Making decisions that affect children and their families must be a heavy burden. I’m sure sometimes the decision is obvious, but I also know at times there is no “good” option, only the lesser of two bad ones. That would keep me up at night. Do they make mistakes? Sure, we are all human and mistakes happen, but I can’t help but believe, especially when children are involved, that a Chancery Judge makes the best decision they can based on the facts presented.