bias


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Bias

A predisposition or a preconceived opinion that prevents a person from impartially evaluating facts that have been presented for determination; a prejudice.

A judge who demonstrates bias in a hearing over which he or she presides has a mental attitude toward a party to the litigation that hinders the judge from supervising fairly the course of the trial, thereby depriving the party of the right to a fair trial. A judge may Recuse himself or herself to avoid the appearance of bias.

If, during the Voir Dire, a prospective juror indicates bias toward either party in a lawsuit, the juror can be successfully challenged for cause and denied a seat on the jury.

bias

n. the predisposition of a judge, arbitrator, prospective juror, or anyone making a judicial decision, against or in favor of one of the parties or a class of persons. This can be shown by remarks, decisions contrary to fact, reason or law, or other unfair conduct. Bias can be toward an ethnic group, homosexuals, women or men, defendants or plaintiffs, large corporations, or local parties. Getting a "hometown" decision is a form of bias which is the bane of the out-of-town lawyer. There is also the subtle bias of some male judges in favor of pretty women. Obvious bias is a ground for reversal on appeal, but it is hard to prove, since judges are usually careful to display apparent fairness in their comments. The possibility of juror bias is explored in questioning at the beginning of trial in a questioning process called "voir dire." (See: voir dire, hometowned)

bias

noun bigotry, disinclination, disposition, foregone conclusion, inclinatio, inclination, jaundice, partiality, partisanism, partisanship, preapprehension, preconceived idea, preconception, predetermination, predilection, predisposition, preference, prejudgment, prejudication, prejudice, prenotion, proclivity, proneness, propensio animi, propensity, susceptibility, trend, undetachment
Associated concepts: actual bias, bias of mind
See also: bait, choice, discrimination, dispose, disposition, favor, favoritism, inclination, inequality, inequity, influence, injustice, intolerance, lure, nepotism, partiality, penchant, point of view, position, preconception, predetermination, predilection, predisposition, preference, prejudice, proclivity, propensity, slant, stand, tendency

BIAS. A particular influential power which sways the judgment; the inclination or propensity of the mind towards a particular object.
     2. Justice requires that the judge should have no bias for or against any individual; and that his mind should be perfectly free to act as the law requires.
     3. There is, however, one kind of bias which the courts suffer to influence them in their judgments it is a bias favorable to a class of cases, or persons, as distinguished from an individual case or person. A few examples will explain this. A bias is felt on account of convenience. 1 Ves. sen. 13, 14; 3 Atk. 524. It is also felt in favor of the heir at law, as when there is an heir on one side and a mere volunteer on the other. Willes, R. 570 1 W. Bl. 256; Amb. R. 645; 1 Ball & B. 309 1 Wils. R. 310 3 Atk. 747 Id. 222. On the other hand, the court leans against double portions for children; M'Clell. R. 356; 13 Price, R. 599 against double provisions, and double satisfactions; 3 Atk. R. 421 and against forfeitures. 3 T. R. 172. Vide, generally, 1 Burr. 419 1 Bos. & Pull. 614; 3 Bos. & Pull. 456 Ves. jr. 648 Jacob, Rep. 115; 1 Turn. & R. 350.

References in classic literature ?
The mind of Judge Temple, at all times comprehensive, had received from his peculiar occupations a bias to look far into futurity, in his speculations on the improvements that posterity were to make in his lands.
On the contrary, the knowing that there was such a provision for me probably did bias me.
Therefore a bad poet would, I grant, make a false critique, and his self-love would infallibly bias his little judgment in his favor; but a poet, who is indeed a poet, could not, I think, fail of making-a just critique; whatever should be deducted on the score of self-love might be replaced on account of his intimate acquaintance with the subject; in short, we have more instances of false criticism than of just where one's own writings are the test, simply because we have more bad poets than good.
Anne gave her credit, indeed, for feelings of great consideration towards herself, in all that related to Kellynch, and it pleased her: especially, as she had satisfied herself in the very first half minute, in the instant even of introduction, that there was not the smallest symptom of any knowledge or suspicion on Mrs Croft's side, to give a bias of any sort.
And yet that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, ambassadors, generals, and other false and corrupt servants; which set a bias upon their bowl, of their own petty ends and envies, to the overthrow of their master's great and important affairs.
I will not bias your mind by suggesting theories or suspicions, Watson," said he; "I wish you simply to report facts in the fullest possible manner to me, and you can leave me to do the theorizing.
He much regretted that any personal bias should have been read into his remarks, which were entirely dictated by his desire for scientific truth.
The pair of legs that carried him were rickety, and there was a bias in his gait which inclined him somewhat to the left of a straight line.
An Irish terrier, with no personal bias towards either side, was dancing round and attacking each in turn as he came uppermost.
Some modifications the moral sentiment avails to impose, but the individual texture holds its dominion, if not to bias the moral judgments, yet to fix the measure of activity and of enjoyment.
Believe, me," he added, after a moment's pause, "whatever my personal bias may be, what I am saying to you now is not actuated in the slightest by any feelings of jealousy.
But here again enter error of perspective, and vitiation due to the bias of love.