Should Judges Take Finance Classes?

by Arin Greenwood on August 2, 2010

Yes, says American Bar Association delegate and Florida lawyer Josh Markus, who is urging the ABA’s House of Delegates to adopt a resolution that would encourage “education and training for judges in the United States and abroad, regarding financial market products and practices, and that judges be provided with accurate, timely, and reliable educational resources.”

“This is just another aspect of ensuring that the groundwork is laid for financial reform,” the New Jersey Law Journal reports Markus saying. “You can’t build a building on a shaky foundation … and judges are the key to interpreting the intent of legislators and law makers.”

The NJLJ reports that San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer, “who was unfamiliar with the proposal, raised some concerns about the idea of providing information to judges outside actual evidence presented in trial. Kramer, who said he has several financial crisis-related cases on his docket, said it’s enough to hear ‘good lawyers explain things to me.’”

And there, in two paragraphs in the New Jersey Law Journal, the usual debate: should judges be tabulae rasae, or should they bring outside knowledge and experience into the courtroom?

The ABA’s House of Delegates is also being asked to endorse a white paper offering strategic themes and elements of a national mitigation strategy. You can read the paper here.

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