3rd Circuit Appeal Challenges Judge's Outside Research In Bench Trial

U.S. Court News

According to the New Jersey Law Journal, a federal appeals court has been asked to limit the right of judges to do their own research in bench trials, lest they be swayed by facts not before them.

US Magistrate Patty Shwartz in Newark, N.J., no-caused a medical malpractice claim after consulting published and unpublished cases -- not cited by the parties -- that dwelled on the type of injury the defendant doctor was accused of inflicting.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict, saying the research was for "informational" purposes only and was not the basis for Shwartz's decision.

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