Judicial Misconduct Dictionary: Prosecutor with a Robe

Another phrase for the day:

Prosecutor with a Robe.

Prosecutor with a robe describes the lawyer-advocate who was elevated to the bench from the position of criminal prosecutor.  Criminal prosecutors represent the government, and with that role comes a lot of power.  This is referred to at times in the law at times as the ‘awesome power of the state.’  Prosecutors can use their power for good, to get real criminals ‘off the streets.’  Or they can destroy a life with one fell swoop.  Understanding that prosecutors come from positions of power is important to understanding the phrase ‘prosecutor with a robe.’

Some prosecutors deftly move from advocate to judge; they are successful in ‘moving to the middle.’  Other prosecutors cannot make the shift.  ‘Prosecutor with a robe’ is meant to describe prosecutors who failed to move to the middle, and now act like prosecutors while wearing their robe.  Those judges wield the ‘awesome power of the state’ from the bench, heavily leaning on the case in favor of the government.  This is a scary sight.

Prosecutors with robes might think that they are adept at appearing judicial.  But lawyers can quickly spot these judges.

Prosecutor with a robe is a phrase that lawyers have used for years in hallways in hushed whispers, afraid someone might hear them.  But it is a fairly common phrase in our business.  And its frequency of use shows the depth of the problem.