NO CLE - ABA: Gender & Judging: Does the Gender of the Judge Matter in Bankruptcy Court Adjudications?

For two years this group has studied the influence of a judge’s gender on the processing and outcomes in bankruptcy cases. Leveraging several studies in non-bankruptcy cases on whether gender influences judicial decision making, this study has looked at 837 student loan discharge opinions and compared the outcomes of those cases based on the gender of the judge and the gender of the debtor. The results demonstrate a statistically significant difference in the way men and women decide such cases. The study now expects to examine survey results from male and female judges to assess discernible patterns. This panel will present the results of this study and will discuss some or all of the following questions:

  • Does gender affect case management?
  • Does gender affect the perception of witnesses?
  • Implicit bias and gender
  • Should counsel tailor case, trial and argument based on the gender of the judge? If so, how can counsel do so?
  • Does the gender of a party ever play an appropriate role in judicial decision making?
  • What can judges do to ensure that gender plays an appropriate role in case determination?

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