rent a judge
 n.— «Q: What is reference judging? A: In California, it’s called “rent a judge,” a pejorative term. Here, about 15 years ago, we passed a statute that allowed parties to retain someone who has been approved by the Supreme Court to sit on a reference-judge panel in certain judicial districts.…If the parties agree—and it cannot be a jury trial or a criminal trial—they can select a person who has been approved to be on that panel, mostly retired judges but some lawyers. That person will try their case just as though it was tried before a regular sitting judge.» —“Justice looks back at career, toward future” by Peter Wong Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) Sept. 25, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. Daniel Morin says:

    Why is “rent a judge” a pejorative term? I discovered the term reading a book about private justice. Private judges are fairer and more efficient at settling disputes than public judges.

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