Friday, August 17, 2018
"Nancy Gertner, a retired U.S. District Court judge in Massachusetts, is a lecturer at Harvard Law School.
It is not unusual for judges to intervene in court proceedings from time to time — to direct the lawyers to move the case along or to admonish them that evidence is repetitive. The judge's role is to act not as a "mere moderator," as the Supreme Court noted in Herron v. Southern Pacific in 1931, but as the "governor of the trial" responsible for ensuring the proper conduct of all participants.
The performance of U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in the trial of Paul Manafort on bank fraud and tax evasion charges has been decidedly unusual.
During the trial, Ellis intervened regularly, and mainly against one side: the prosecution. The judge's interruptions occurred in the presence of the jury and on matters of substance, not courtroom conduct. He disparaged the prosecution's evidence, misstated its legal theories, even implied that prosecutors had disobeyed his orders when they had not."
The extraordinary bias of the judge in the Manafort trial - The Washington Post