The Judge's Role in the Adversary System

Orange County Lawyers Chapter

The judge’s role is straightforward when parties are represented by skilled advocates. When parties are not well represented, the judge’s role becomes less clearly defined. To what extent should a court do its own legal research, review a factual record, or generously interpret a party’s argument so that a case is presented and adjudicated on its merits? Is it appropriate to steer a lawyer or give hints? Where should the line be drawn—and at what point would a judge’s participation be inconsistent with his or her role in the adversary system?


  • Hon. John W. Holcomb, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Registration: 11:45am

Lunch: 12:00pm


  • Members: $30
  • Non-Members: $35
  • Students: $10


Includes 1 hour of MCLE credit


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.