Higher court rejects appeal of summary disposition in legal malpractice case
Alexandra Nathalie Bedford sued her own lawyers for malpractice after a contentious divorce. At the first opportunity, the trial judge dismissed her case, granting summary disposition, with prefatory remarks that suggested that Bedford was guilty, along with others, of obstructive and unreliable behavior. She appealed, arguing that her case was improperly dismissed because of the judge's bias arising out of his contact with the divorce action. The appellate judges ruled that the case was properly dismissed because she didn't raise this issue with the trial judge, did not adequately document proof of bias and did not overcome the strong presumption that the judge is not biased. The judges affirmed the precedent suggesting that a judge's criticism of a party litigant is not necessarily evidence of improper bias.