A fundamental premise of the American criminal justice system is defense counsel's zealous professional advocacy. Representation of a criminal defendant to be effective must be vigorous. In administering a trial, judges have a duty to ensure a fair and orderly proceeding. On occasion, however, judges overstep the line and impede defense counsel's advocacy functions unfairly. This article describes some of the ways that trial judges may violate legal and ethical standards by improperly interfering with defense counsel's courtroom functions.
Bennett L. Gershman, Judicial Interference with Effective Advocacy by the Defense, 33 Crim. L. Bull. 424 (1997), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/940/.