46 Pages

The Search for Truth: An Umpireal View

ByMarvin E. Frankel

The advocate in the trial courtroom is not engaged much more than half the time in the search for truth. Employed by interested parties, the process often achieves truth only as a convenience, a by-product, or an accidental approximation. One suspects that in minimizing his advertence to that critical aspect of the problem, the umpireal judge was back-sliding into a bit of lawyerly adversariness. The trial judge reacts, in general or from time to time, the bench affords a changed and broadened view of the adversary process. The disillusionment is, as the outset, only a modest element of the judicial experience. It accounts for recurrent judicial expressions that seem critical of the bar, when they probably stem from more basic dissatisfactions. In any event, our more or less typical lawyer, selected as a trial judge, experiences a dramatic change in perspective as he moves to the other side of the bench.