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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the current limitations regarding the duration of intervention effectiveness, healthcare practitioners must seek to be aware of the existence of unconscious bias due to their potential impact on patient care, as such negative outcomes have been well-documented.
In the case of the Starbucks incident, implicit bias is what caused the Starbucks employee to call the police on the two African American men, even though the situation clearly demonstrated that they did nothing wrong.
The course carries 6.5 general CLE credits, 5.5 credits in bias elimination, and 1 hour in technology.
Bias tires offer many characteristics for superior performance when used in the correct application.
The Joint Commission has outlined strategies for nipping unconscious bias (2016).
Graham Boone, "Does employer bias affect worker performance?," Monthly Labor Review, U.S.
"Even when the experts all agree," noted Bertrand Russell, "they may well be mistaken." A good example of this is seen in the bystander bias where a group of people, even while witnessing a crime, may do nothing (Darley & Latane, 1968), a bias articulated after observing that a crowd of people did nothing while a woman was being murdered.
(The study, The Role of Time Preferences and Exponential-Growth Bias in Retirement Savings, is copyright 2015 by Gopi Shah Goda, Matthew R.
Both films with bias frequencies of 1 kHz and 100 kHz were dense with pores free from cross-sectional images (Figures 5(b) and 5(c)).
A two-standard-deviation increase in either measure of bias (equivalent to moving from a typical level of bias to the 95th percentile) would decrease retirement savings by about $26,000, or about 20 percent relative to the mean value of $133,000.
Yetiv argues that the Iran-Contra case represents two cognitive biases that played significant roles--"the focusing illusion" and "noncompensatory decision making." The focusing illusion led decision makers to place excessive importance on one aspect of an event--American hostages held in Lebanon--while the noncompensatory bias produced a focus on the belief that some particular factor is so important that it cannot be balanced by any other factor or combination of factors, which in this case only increased America's determination to recover the hostages.
So, for example, directors with a legal background may have an unconscious bias favoring director candidates with a legal background.