San Jose Private Settlement Judge

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San Jose Private Settlement Judge

San Jose Private Settlement Judge

Many people are intimidated to seek legal action for family law issues because they are afraid their case may go to court. However, the state of California offers multiple forms of alternative dispute resolution that individuals can choose from when they would like to avoid courtroom litigation. Private judging is one option that many people choose when trying to calmly resolve family law concerns.

Because our attorney, Tracy Duell-Cazes, is also a certified family law attorney, she has the knowledge needed to serve as a private judge in the state of California. Private judging offers you the ability to have your case settled confidentially while still having all decisions made by a legal professional that you can trust.

Tracy Duell-Cazes has over three decades of experience and is passionate about resolving each of her clients’ legal concerns. If you are searching for a private judge to rule over your case in San Jose, TDC Family Law offers the services that you are looking for.

What Is Private Judging in California?

California provides various options for individuals looking to take legal action for a family law issue. For those who do not want to go through the general litigation process in court, there are alternative dispute resolutions.

The primary forms of alternative dispute resolution in California include mediation, arbitration, and private judging. Private judging is a relatively new alternative recognized by the state. It relies more on the opinion of a professional than on the decisions that are made by each party.

Private judging works by using a neutral third party, who is also a legal professional, to serve as a judge outside of court. The judge will listen to both parties’ cases and concerns before ultimately deciding on the matter. Their judgment can then be legally enforced, just as if it were done in family court. Private judging is meant to act as an extended branch of the law while giving individuals the opportunity to have more privacy with their concerns.

How Does the Private Judging Process Work?

If you are considering using private judging as an alternative to litigation, you should learn how the process works. Private judging in California tends to follow this general format:

1. Both Parties Agree to Use Private Judging

Individuals who are involved in a family law case together can only use a private judge if both parties agree. If one party objects to using this method, the case will most likely have to go through the litigation process instead.

2. A Judge Is Selected

When there is a mutual agreement to use private judging instead of a public trial, both parties are then responsible for selecting their judge. Each side can nominate their potential candidates, but both sides must agree on the final judge that is chosen. For someone to serve as a private judge in California, they must have significant experience and insight into family law. This is because a private judge acts as an “extension of the court” and must have substantial knowledge of all legal matters. Retired judges, accomplished attorneys, and dispute resolution professionals may all act as private judges over your case in San Jose.

3. Both Parties Present Their Cases

Private judging follows the same laws and procedures that the average litigated case uses, just in a private setting. This means that both parties can present their concerns and demonstrate their case in front of a judge as if they were in court. In this method, the proceedings will be much less intense than a courtroom trial.

4. The Judge Makes a Decision on the Matter

It is the duty of your private judge to decide your case based on state and federal laws. The judge will consider both sides, the evidence they presented, and the unique circumstances of the situation to make a decision that they believe most solves your dispute.

5. The Order Is Enforced

After the judge has reached their conclusion, it can be legally enforced in the same way that a decision made through litigation would be. Either party, or your private judge, can take the judgment that was issued and file it with your local court to have it enforced. Once the final judgment has been filed and approved, your new court order or settlement will become active.

Advantages That Come With Using a Private Judge

Private judging offers an assortment of advantages that litigation simply cannot. For anyone contemplating using a private judge to resolve legal matters, consider these benefits:

Your Case Is Handled in Private

Most people do not want their personal issues put out in public for everyone to see. While litigation is not always done in the public eye, the proceedings are much less confidential than those of private judging.

Private judging allows individuals to resolve legal issues in a setting outside of court, such as in a law firm, a conference room, or even in one party’s home. Your case does not have to be subject to multiple other judicial officers and witnesses who are in the room. Instead, you get the privacy of an empty room with a legal professional who is dedicated to your case.

Your Legal Proceedings Go Faster

The United States judicial system has unfortunately been overwhelmed for years. Because of the high number of claims that are submitted, your case can experience delays for months and sometimes even years. By choosing an alternative dispute resolution method like private judging, you can do yourself a massive favor by shortening the time that it takes to resolve your case. Private judges are not overloaded with claims like general courts.

This allows them to prioritize your case and work to help proceedings move as efficiently as possible. Spending a shorter amount of time on your case also helps you cut costs in the long run.

Both Parties Hold More Control Over Their Situation

Many people feel uncomfortable with the lack of control they have during litigation in family court. Many people do not want their futures to be unquestionably decided in court. This makes private judging a great option for those who would like to have more of a say in their legal issues.

Individuals who use private judging have the power to select their judge, work with an attorney separately, and sometimes choose whether they want to enforce the final decision that their judge made. This gives each party much more control over their situation compared to general court, where a judge decides and enforces it without question.

Your Case Is Less Intense

Holding proceedings outside of a courtroom full of intimidating officers can make a case much easier to handle. Because family law cases deal with personal, important matters, it is easy for them to spark disputes quickly. By working with a private judge, you and the other party will be placed in a comfortable environment that eases the intensity of the situation immensely. This allows you both to have an easier time staying calm while presenting your case.

The Difference Between Private Judging and Arbitration

While both are forms of alternative dispute resolution, people often confuse private judging with arbitration in California. They share a great deal of similarities, including:

  • Both parties must mutually choose their judge or arbitrator.
  • Both take place outside of the public eye.
  • Both provide a private environment to solve disputes.
  • Both rely on the opinion of a neutral legal professional to make the final decision.
  • Both methods result in an order that is legally binding.

However, the main difference that separates these resolution processes is that arbitration is an out-of-court method. Simply put, private judging is meant to act as a more confidential proceeding that follows the same guidelines as family court. Arbitration, on the other hand, occurs “outside of the legal system” and may follow different procedures.

How a Family Lawyer Can Double as Your Private Judge

The main requirement for a private judge is that they have extensive knowledge of family law, which is exactly what a family lawyer has.

At TDC Family Law, our founder is also a certified family law specialist by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization. Tracy Duell-Cazes has experience and training that allow her to serve as a private judge in California. She understands the weight that each case holds and has the skills to determine fair resolutions for each party as a San Jose Private Settlement Judge. Choosing a proficient family attorney to serve as your private judge can help you feel confident that a fair decision can be made.

TDC Family Law: Your San Jose Private Judge

TDC Family Law focuses on providing compassionate and accessible legal help for individuals in California. From working as a mediator to serving as a private judge, Tracy Duell-Cazes has resolved countless family law concerns for her clients. For individuals who may feel intimidated by the general court process, private judging is an amazing option that offers more confidentiality in a calm environment.

If you would like to learn more about private judging in California, or how TDC Family Law can assist you, contact our firm today.



1530 The Alameda, Suite 108
San Jose, CA 95126

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TDC Family Law serves the entire state of California for Contempt of Court and Private Settlement Judge & Mediation

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