Judge Pro-tems, and Your Case: Does it Matter?
Independent professional advisers are here to help. Did you know there are 5 types of judges, with different names? Which type of judge will oversee your case, and why does it matter? If the regular judge that normally adjudicates transfers of structured settlement cases is out sick, and a judge pro tempore (defined below) is filling in, the temporary judge might not be as wise, or knowledgeable with the law governing transfers of structured settlements.
That's not to say the judge pro-tem won't do the best job they can, but it is usually to your benefit to have the regular judge; the behavior is predictable, and they specialize in transfer of structured settlement law. Having a judge pro-tem can be a wild card.
Your independent professional adviser will be aware of who is adjudicating your case.
Judge - is an official of the judicial branch of government, elected or appointed by the Governor and employed by the State, who has been admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years, with authority to decide lawsuits brought before the courts.
Commissioner is an attorney admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years, elected by the judges of the Court and is an employee of the Court, given the power to hear and make decisions in certain kinds of legal cases including misdemeanors, felonies through the preliminary hearing stage, family law and juvenile cases.
Referee - is a person appointed by and an employee of the Court (generally an attorney) to hear and make decisions on limited legal matters, such as juvenile and traffic offenses.
In California, the term Justice is used to identify members of the Courts of Appeal and the State Supreme Court.
A "pro-tem" (judge pro tempore) is a commissioner or referee temporarily replacing a judge.
Definitions ONLY, courtesy of Los Angeles Superior Court
Not only will your Independent professional advisor be aware of what judge will be hearing your case, but as a structured settlement expert they will also most likely or should know what each judge requires.
Lets take orange county for instance, all the cases in orange go through one judge, and that one judge has a very specific outline of what he believes the price range should be, and what he believes are acceptable reasons for approval.
Now if an independent professional advisor walks in and has not taken these specifics into account,then the judge will continue or deny that transfer.
But on the same hand if a structured settlement expert acting as an independent professional advisor walks into that same court, knowing what we know about that judge they will not only have addressed the issues and either corrected them or have an explanation, reason, and a plan for getting the presiding judge to see it as the payee sees it for their best interest.