Berryessa et al. (2022) consider how prior experience as a criminal prosecutor may influence judicial behaviour, but their concerns about prior experience apply much more broadly in the case of American judges. In the United States, unlike many other countries, lawyers with experience as advocates comprise the great majority of persons selected to be judges (Volcansek, 2010; Wilets et al., 2022), and most American lawyers focus their practice on particular areas and particular client types, such as representing employers or employees in employment disputes. Specialized experience of any kind, whether as a prosecutor or corporate attorney—and both these types of lawyers have been over-represented among recent judicial nominees to the federal bench in the United States (Shepherd, 2021)—may lead to preconceptions, preferences and blind spots that influence how judges discharge their duties.

Gregory Mitchell, Constraining prosecutors and other advocates who become judges: A commentary on Berryessa et al. (2022), 28 Legal and Criminological Psychology, 201–203 (2023).
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