The dictionary defines an active judge as a full-time employed member of the court who is present and on-call the entire day. Active judges are team leaders who organize, support and liaison with other judges. Passive judges may directly work alongside other active judges. Passive judges perform their duties, answer questions, issue warnings and process legal actions and documentation. Active judges touch base with other judges, fix unresolved problems and help judges troubleshoot legal issues. Because active judges are continually present, they can solve problems as they happen without delaying or exacerbating problems. What a judge does will depend on their jurisdiction and area of legal expertise.
Judge – Workers’ Compensation
A workers’ compensation judge will be the presiding officer in judicial proceedings between employees and employers. They provide instruction to the parties, administer oaths, question witnesses, issue rules on the admissibility of evidence and prepare memo summaries. These judges may initiate a discussion of the evidence, conduct internal fact findings and determine final conclusions. They answer complex questions about labor code rights and state and federal employment laws. They interpret provisions pertaining to workers’ compensation insurance payments, investigations and rulings. They use their ability and knowledge of legal research to conduct hearings, obtain all pertinent evidence and secure the agreement of all parties. These judges must appraise problems, apply legal principles, research precedents and summarize evidence to issue appropriate findings, awards and orders.
Judge –Health Insurance and Finance
Health finance judges must have prior experience with Medicaid, Medicare, the health insurance industry and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They conduct or represent their states’ department of health at formal hearings and informal meetings. They evaluate insurance and health care documentation to render decisions based on state laws and federal regulations. Health finance judges establish witness lists, issue subpoenas, holds pre-hearing meetings and call on subject matter experts. They are expected to comprehensively examine and question witnesses, testimonies and evidence. They issue written orders, make new rules and adjudicate certain cases. They present their final judgment with documentation that defends legal proceeding decisions. These judges must be very familiar with private, state and federal health care systems, regulations and policies.
Judge – Municipal Court
Municipal court judges provide strategic supervision and legal guidance for their court. They maintain judicial independence from other legal officials, such as city administrators and legislative government representatives, in order to ensure the fair administration of justice. Municipal court judges conduct trials, hearings and arraignments that are resolved by the issuance of rulings, sentences and judgments. They supervise administrative staff and operations personnel who provide customer service support. They direct the preparation, execution and review of court budgets and expenses. They direct the preparation of mandatory monthly, quarterly and annual reports on court income, operations, outcomes and caseloads. They must maintain knowledge of state, county and federal laws and regulations. They must know how to interpret regulations, apply legal decisions and identify legal interpretation trends.
An active judge will need to have a Juris Doctorate and current membership with the state’s bar association. They must know how to make a legal decision or solve a complex problem by using logic to identify facts, explore alternatives and propose equitable and just solutions.