Skip to main content

Binding Hercules: A Proposal for Bench Trials

Posted by on Monday, November 27, 2023 in Articles, Volume 76, Volume 76, Number 6.

Maggie Wittlin | 76 Vand. L. Rev. 1735

If you were a federal judge presiding over a bench trial, you probably would not want the Federal Rules of Evidence to apply to you. Sure, you might want to be insulated from privileged information. But you are, no doubt, capable of cool-headed, rational reasoning, and you have a realistic understanding of how the world works; if you got evidence that was unreliable or easy to overvalue, you could handle it appropriately. But surely, you would have the same desire if you were a juror—it is not your position as a judge that makes you want all the relevant evidence. And in either event, you would, perhaps, be overestimating your own abilities.

PDF Download Link


Maggie Wittlin