Judges, like most people, have a hard time admitting they’re wrong. Well, maybe even a harder time than most people. That black robe is an ego-inflater. A lowly lawyer gets elected, dons the robe and — voila! — he is suddenly addressed as “your honor”. People stand up when he walks into a room. You get the picture.
That’s why an article in the New York Law Journal — titled “Judge Admits Mistake and Slashes Damages” caught my eye. The article is about a judge who admitted he was wrong without having to be told so by an appellate court. He said his original decision – which awarded $1 million to the children of a deceased medical malpractice victim as compensation for their lost future financial support and parental guidance – was “misinformed”, and then slashed the award down to $150,000.