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Legal Memorandum: Judge's Inability to Proceed

Issue: When a federal trial is held on an administrative record, may the case be transferred to another judge for a decision?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Unable to proceed; Administrative record
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Rule 63 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Date: 01/01/2006

  Rule 63 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that, if a judge is unable to proceed at any point after the commencement of a trial or hearing, “any other judge may proceed with it upon certifying familiarity with the record and determining that the proceedings in the case may be completed without prejudice to the parties.”  The Ninth Circuit has held that the certification of familiarity with the record may be nothing more than a judge’s statement that no further trial is necessary.  Patelco Credit Union v. Sahni, 262 F. 2d 897, 906 n.8 (9th Cir. 2001).

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