Fifth Circuit Vacates Referral to Special Master - Abuse by Judges Now Epidemic
The use of "Special Masters" has become a common abuse for judges to both get rid of their work and award other high paying patronage work. In fact these "wink, wink" deals often bleed down estates when completely unnecessary with extra legal fees allowing 3 lawyers to have meetings without any client oversight to rack up legal fees.
Sierra Club v. Clifford, 257 F.3d 444 (5th Cir. 2001).
Yoshiyuki Takamatsu, 3L
A court may appoint a special master to assist it in specific judicial duties, such as difficult computation of damages or when some “exceptional condition” requires the reference. (See page 8 for details on special masters.) The district court cited its congested docket and unfamiliarity with the issues presented as necessitating the referral to the master. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit held that the decisions to refer were improper and vacated the final judgment, remanding the case for further proceedings.
Appointment of Special Master and La Buy