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Presiding Judge

Definition - What does Presiding Judge mean?

The presiding judge of a court is the top judge and manager of court operations. The presiding judge decides which judge will oversee which case hearings. This judge is also the top judge in a panel of three or more judges, which holds true in both federal appeals courts and state courts.

The presiding judge performs many management functions for the court. These duties may include establishing policies and procedures for the court, organizing meetings of the judges, and managing the court's calendar.

Justipedia explains Presiding Judge

All courts will have a presiding judge, but the cumulative courts will also have a presiding judge. That presiding judge determines the head of the family court, commercial court, district court, circuit court and all other areas that require a head judge. One may think of a presiding judge as the president of the judges in a court.

The term of a presiding judge is often annual. However, it is common for this term to continue for other lengths as well, such as two years. During a presiding judge's term, he or she holds significantly more responsibility than he or she does out of term. Not only does the presiding judge have to handle and supervise legal proceedings, but he or she must also organize and run the whole court. This added responsibility is one of the main reasons behind term limits.

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