The law is the end product of many years of history... the fruit of human knowledge! Like a gem, polished to a gleam through trials... and errors. It is this fruit we receive, and pass on, and face in our time. And it is always changing, growing. Nurturing it is our task as human beings.
As a child, the judge presumably received the same message on his school report card every year: "Has poor hearing, and often makes mistakes as a result", as evident by his reaction to Mia Fey guessing the message.
I've seen quite a few things in my many years on the bench. And in all that time, I've finally learned this one thing. Each case is different, and takes place in its own world, if you will. In order to fully understand that world, first we have to immerse ourselves in it completely.
The judge has presided over several notable trials in his many years in the courtroom. This account begins with the trial of Mack Rell in what would come to be known as the second KG-8 Incident, a trial that introduced the judge to then-rookie prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.
In 2012, the judge presided over a trial that would end some eras and begin others. When Mack Rell was arrested for murder, he claimed to be the Great Thief Yatagarasu. However, when prosecutor Byrne Faraday brought forth condemning evidence against him in court, Rell suddenly changed his story, accusing Faraday of being the Yatagarasu and the one who had sent him to commit the murder. In light of these events, the judge suspended the trial to make way for a replacement for Faraday: a new prosecutor named Miles Edgeworth. The judge then headed for the restroom. While he was there, he looked out the window, across the courtyard of the District Court, to the 3rd floor hallway. Although he did not see anyone, he did hear what sounded like a gunshot, but promptly forgot about it.
As the judge returned to his bench to restart the trial, Faraday and Rell were both found murdered. The judge remembered what he had seen in the washroom and accused Detective Dick Gumshoe of the murder, testifying about the gunshot he had heard. However, Edgeworth looked into Gumshoe's surveillance job and determined that much of the judge's testimony was built on a number of misunderstandings on his part. Firstly, Gumshoe was, in fact, merely sitting and eating on a bench underneath the window with Kay Faraday, invisible to the judge. Edgeworth also discovered that the sound the judge had heard was just Kay attempting to startle Gumshoe by popping a balloon. Gumshoe was eventually cleared of all charges thanks to Edgeworth's efforts, although the true culprit, who had used another fake gunshot to create an alibi, managed to escape.
In 2014, the judge presided over Mia Fey's second case as an attorney. She had not taken a case since a year ago, as said case had left her severely traumatized. This time, she was to defend university student Phoenix Wright, who had been accused of electrocuting fellow student Doug Swallow to death, against prosecutor Winston Payne. Dahlia Hawthorne took the stand, and Fey was able to learn that Hawthorne had been using Swallow and his pharmacology lab to obtain a special poison. Eight months prior, Hawthorne had stolen poison from Swallow and used it to put a defense attorney who had been questioning her into a deep coma, having been carrying the poison in an inconspicuous bottle built into her necklace. As she fled the scene of the crime, she bumped into Wright and disposed of the necklace by giving it to him as a "gift". She had been trying fruitlessly ever since to obtain the necklace from Wright and dispose of it, and she had finally tried to poison Wright himself to get the necklace back. She poisoned his bottle of Coldkiller X cold medicine, but Doug Swallow noticed that more poison had been stolen and warned Wright. Wright refused to listen to his warning, but Hawthorne overheard and electrocuted Swallow to silence him. In court, Fey used the cold medicine to reveal Hawthorne's plot. Finally exposed, Hawthorne admitted her crimes and Wright was declared not guilty.
Two years later, the judge saw the return of Phoenix Wright to his courtroom, this time as a rookie defense attorney facing off against prosecutor Winston Payne. Wright not only managed to successfully defend his childhood friend Larry Butz on the charge of murder, but also deduced who the true killer had been. Despite having previously met Wright when he presided over the man's own trial, the judge showed no sign that he recognized him.
Soon afterwards, the judge oversaw Maya Fey's trial for the murder of her older sister Mia Fey, with Wright once again acting as the defense, while Edgeworth prosecuted the case. Wright was nearly able to prove Maya's innocence, but trial was adjourned for a day to allow for more investigation. While investigating, Wright found the real culprit, a man called Redd White who was blackmailing various high-profile individuals. White used his influence to have Wright accused of Mia's murder, but this backfired when Wright proved his own innocence in court and White's guilt.
The judge also presided over the trial of Miles Edgeworth for the murder of Robert Hammond, where Wright once again acted as the defense, and the prosecution was the feared Manfred von Karma (whom even the judge was afraid of). The judge initially declared Edgeworth guilty, but soon withdrew this verdict after hearing the testimony of Larry Butz. He went on to declare Edgeworth not guilty after the real killer was revealed to be former court bailiff Yanni Yogi.
Edgeworth objected to this judgement however, believing himself to be guilty of murdering his own father in the DL-6 Incident. As said case was set to expire its statute of limitations on that day, a trial was immediately prepared, with Wright and von Karma once again acting as the defense and prosecution respectively. The judge was shocked when Wright accused von Karma of being the real killer, but this accusation turned out to be correct, and Edgeworth was again acquitted.
Shortly after Edgeworth's trial, the judge oversaw the trial of Chief Prosecutor Lana Skye for the murder of detective Bruce Goodman, with Wright defending her against Edgeworth. Although the defendant repeatedly tried to plead guilty and fire Wright, Edgeworth refuted her pleas, and it was eventually proven that the Chief of Police, Damon Gant, was the real killer, and had been blackmailing Skye into taking the blame for him. The judge, who was a longtime friend of Gant, was saddened by the outcome of the trial, saying that Gant was no longer the person he had known.
Three months after Maya Fey's second trial, Wright defended police officer Maggey Byrde, accused of killing her boyfriend. Although the judge initially had to reprimand Wright for his unusually amateurish behavior, such as hesitating when asked if he was ready, he soon saw the lawyer return to his former self and blow several holes in the testimony of Detective Gumshoe. The judge was about to pronounce Byrde innocent when prosecutor Winston Payne objected, saying he had another witness to summon. Nevertheless, Wright was able to expose the second witness, Richard Wellington, as the real killer. He later explained to the judge that he had temporarily lost his memory after being struck on the head by Wellington in the defendant lobby.
The judge later presided over the trial of magician "Max Galactica" when he was accused of murdering Berry Big Circus ringmaster Russel Berry. The trial was again between Phoenix Wright and Franziska von Karma as the defense and prosecution, respectively. A verdict of "Not Guilty" was eventually decided on after wheelchair-bound acrobat Ken "Acro" Dingling was found to be responsible for the crime.
To be honest, I can't think of you as a truly innocent and good person. You have done enough evil to drive a woman to suicide. But... At least on the charge of murder, it would appear you are innocent.
The judge presided over The Nickel Samurai actor Matt Engarde's trial when he was accused of murdering rival Jammin' Ninja actor Juan Corrida. The trial this time was between Wright and Edgeworth (the prosecutor was initially going to be Franziska von Karma, but she was non-fatally shot before the trial and replaced by Edgeworth). Engarde was found guilty after it was revealed that he had hired a professional assassin to kill Corrida.
The judge presided over a larceny case when a man named Ron DeLite was accused of stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn and being the masked thief Mask☆DeMasque. Despite DeLite's insistence that he was in fact the thief (and thus wished to be found guilty), Wright defended him against the mysterious masked prosecutor "Godot". DeLite was acquitted after Luke Atmey was revealed as a new suspect.
However, DeLite's freedom was short-lived, as he was soon after accused of murdering his former employer at KB Security. The judge also presided over that trial, which was between the same defense attorney and prosecutor. It was ultimately revealed that the murderer was actually Atmey. DeLite was also revealed to actually be the thief, but under double jeopardy law, he was allowed to go free.
The judge later oversaw the second trial of Maggey Byrde, who was accused of poisoning a computer programmer. For once, Wright - who was speaking in an unusually aggressive tone - did not seem to be making any real effort to defend his client against prosecutor Winston Payne, at one point even stating that she was certainly guilty. Due to the poor defense, the judge soon declared Byrde guilty.
One month later, Wright appealed Byrde's case against Godot. Although the judge was initially apprehensive because of Wright's behavior in the previous trial, the lawyer soon managed to prove that the "Phoenix Wright" who had defended Byrde in court was not only an impostor, but the true killer in the case.
For the trial of Iris in the murder of Elise Deauxnim, the judge's younger brother oversaw the first half of the trial due to Edgeworth's machinations. However, the older brother soon returned for the second half due to the younger brother falling ill, just as Phoenix Wright was returning to the case against prosecutor Godot. It was eventually revealed that "Elise Deauxnim" was actually Misty Fey (who had gone missing more than 15 years prior), and that "Godot" (whose real identity was Diego Armando) was her real killer.
Two months after the trial of Iris, the judge presided over the trial of Zak Gramarye for the murder of his mentor Magnifi Gramarye, with Wright defending Zak against prosecutor Klavier Gavin. Wright tried to accuse Magnifi's other student, Valant Gramarye, and presented a diary page that seemed to prove Zak's innocence. However, Klavier soon summoned a witness who revealed that the page was a forgery. Shocked that Wright had presented forged evidence in court, the judge declared the trial over and moved to pronounce Zak guilty, but the defendant disappeared from the courtroom before the verdict could be read. Wright would later be disbarred for presenting forged evidence.
Seven years after Wright's disbarment, the former lawyer was accused of murdering a traveler named Shadi Smith at the restaurant where he worked. The judge presided over his trial, with rookie defense attorney Apollo Justice representing Wright and veteran prosecutor Winston Payne prosecuting him. Although the case appeared to be a simple one at first, Wright soon turned the tables by accusing Justice's mentor and co-counsel, Kristoph Gavin, of the murder. Kristoph was eventually proven guilty and arrested, much to the disappointment of the judge, who held him in high regard. At the end of the trial, he remarked that Wright had not lost his touch.
Not to worry, Herr Judge. I wouldn't miss this day in court for the world. It's worth even more than VIP passes to one of my concerts, ja? How could I pass up a chance to see the true strength... ...of the little boy who bested my brother?
The judge later presided over Justice's second trial, where he defended Wocky Kitaki for the murder of Dr. Pal Meraktis. After an absence for some time, Klavier Gavin prosecuted the case. The real killer was eventually revealed to be Kitaki's fiancée Alita Tiala.
Justice later defended pianist Machi Tobaye against Gavin for the murder of a singer's bodyguard. Over the course of the trial, the judge arrived late twice, having gone to the hospital to visit the Chief Justice's terminally ill son. When Justice was almost unable to indict the real killer due to a lack of decisive evidence, even with solid circumstantial evidence, the judge commented that the legal system was not perfect, and that if a similar case were to arise, a new system might have to be considered.
For the trial of Vera Misham in the murder of Drew Misham, the video cameras installed for the trial of the new Jurist System seemed to make the judge nervous, but he handled the case normally and even seemed to still have some respect for Kristoph Gavin despite the latter's deeds. Near the end of the trial, the judge gave a speech of how the law progresses over time. The verdict of "Not Guilty" was then decided by the Jurists.
Three months after the Nine-Tails Vale incident, Wright finally regained his badge, and the judge presided over his first trial in eight years in an unprecedented case with an orca as the defendant, accused of murdering Jack Shipley. The prosecutor in this case was Blackquill, and when the orca was acquitted, her trainer was accused of the same murder. However, the trainer was also acquitted after Shipley's death was discovered to be an accident.
In October, the judge oversaw Athena Cykes's first trial, in which she defended her childhood friend Juniper Woods for the murder of her teacher. Although prosecutor Blackquill drove Cykes into a corner with damning evidence, the judge soon found himself unable to render a verdict when the defendant, along with witnesses Robin Newman and Hugh O'Conner, each confessed to having committed the crime alone. The judge adjourned the trial, with Cykes finally proving, the following day, that the murderer had been someone else entirely.
During the trial of Cosmos Space Center astronaut Solomon Starbuck for the murder of Clay Terran, which was between Justice and Blackquill, bomb disposal expert Ted Tonate suddenly burst into Courtroom No. 4 to warn everyone within that a bomb was about to go off. The judge fled with the rest of the courtroom's occupants just before the bomb destroyed it.
Two days after the explosion, Juniper Woods was put on trial for both the bombing and the murder of detective Candice Arme. Gaspen Payne prosecuted the case, and Cykes initially led the defense, but Wright soon took over. The judge was one of only three people, alongside Wright and Cykes, not to flee the courtroom when Tonate, whom Wright had indicted for the bombing, tried to force an adjournment by threatening the courtroom with a bomb. Wright soon proved that Tonate was bluffing and that he had killed Arme, clearing the charges against Woods.
When Starbuck's trial was resumed two days after Woods's (with Wright taking over the defense due to Justice's injuries), the judge still appeared to be traumatized by Tonate's bomb threat, hiding under his bench before the trial started. Through the testimony of Space Center director Yuri Cosmos, Wright and Cykes managed to prove Starbuck's innocence, only for the decisive evidence found by "Detective Bobby Fulbright" to indict Cykes as the culprit instead.
For the trial of Athena Cykes for the murder of her mother, the judge was forced to hold the trial in the ruined Courtroom No. 4, as all the other courtrooms were occupied for the day. Wright acted as the defense in this unofficial trial against Chief Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. Later, when Athena was tried for Clay Terran's murder, Wright continued as the defense and Edgeworth briefly continued as the prosecution, until the latter was replaced by Blackquill. The murderer of both victims was eventually revealed to be a spy known as the "Phantom". It was also revealed that the "Phantom" had been impersonating Bobby Fulbright, who had actually died a year prior.
Some time later, the judge presided over the trial of Trucy Wright when a death occurred during her stage show. Justice and Cykes took on Trucy's defense against Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, a prosecutor from the Kingdom of Khura'in. The real killer was eventually revealed as Take-2 TV producer and former magician Roger Retinz.
The judge later presided over the trial of Bucky Whet for the murder of Taifu Toneido, with Cykes leading the defense (surprisingly assisted by Simon Blackquill) against Sahdmadhi. The real killer was ultimately revealed as Taifu's student Geiru Toneido.
The judge presided over a civil trial that deliberated who the rightful owner of a piece of evidence was. The defendant, Defiant Dragons leader Dhurke Sahdmadhi, and his attorney Apollo Justice claimed that the item was the Founder's Orb; a relic from the Kingdom of Khura'in. They said that Sahdmadhi had legal rights to it due to a written agreement between him and Archie Buff, saying that the latter would hand over the orb to the Defiant Dragons "if [he came] to no harm". The plaintiff, politician Paul Atishon, and his lawyer Phoenix Wright claimed that the item in question was rather the Crystal of Ami Fey; an Atishon family heirloom that had been stolen.
As it turned out, Buff died before Sahdmadhi could complete the exchange as per the agreement, leading to the civil trial. Although Buff's death was originally thought to be an accident, it was later deduced to be murder. Although Justice eventually proved that the deliberated item was in fact the Founder's Orb, Wright claimed that Sahdmadhi's compatriot and fellow Defiant Dragons member Datz Are'bal, who had met and argued with Buff before his death, killed him, making the agreement null and void. However, Justice countered this, proving that Buff's killer was actually Atishon. This resulted in Atishon's arrest and the judge awarding the Founder's Orb to the Defiant Dragons.
Some time after, the judge presided over a trial with Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey at the defense, and Edgeworth as the prosecution, just like he did years before. The defendant was recently married bride Ellen Wyatt, accused of murdering Dumas Gloomsbury during her wedding reception. Late in the trial, Wright and Edgeworth worked together to bring the real killer to justice. The trial featured many familiar faces to the judge; in addition to the previously mentioned defense and prosecution, Ema Skye and Larry Butz testified as witnesses.
The judge is naïve and gullible, but he is said to give the correct verdict without fail. He tends to change his mind very easily, a trait that lawyers on both sides of the courtroom often use to their advantage. He is also very easily wooed by female witnesses such as Dahlia Hawthorne, which has almost allowed guilty female witnesses to be let off the hook several times. Food can also easily divert his attention, as shown during Angel Starr's testimony and Bucky Whet's trial. It often seems that the judge is more likely to side with the prosecution than the defense and to prefer Miles Edgeworth over Phoenix Wright, but this ultimately does not affect his verdict. He has shown respect for Phoenix Wright for his capability to turn things around and point out the unthinkable, although sometimes he has been seen labeling Wright's actions as "shenanigans". He also has a tendency to try to take credit for the work that the attorneys have done, which annoyed both Phoenix and Mia Fey.
His frequent trials with Phoenix Wright have allowed him to become quite familiar with the attorney's life and acquaintances. During the trial of Orla Shipley, he recognised Pearl Fey despite not having seen her for almost a decade, commenting that she had grown up to become a lovely young lady, only to be chastised by Blackquill for engaging in "chit chat". During the trial for Simon Blackquill, when Miles Edgeworth brought up in court that he and Wright had gone to see one of Trucy Wright's magic shows together, the judge expressed shock that he had not been invited, prompting a bewildered Phoenix to offer him tickets. He expressed concern for Trucy Wright during her trial, as well as concern over Apollo Justice's and Phoenix Wright's working relationship during their civil trial, and even expressed surprise when he learned that it was real and not just a mock trial. Upon seeing Wright, Edgeworth, and Maya Fey in his courtroom together again after nine years, he commented that the reunion made him want to go out for dinner and reminisce with all of them, which Phoenix suggested could be a welcome home party for Maya, who had recently returned from Khura'in. Although Edgeworth outwardly showed annoyance at the conversation, he was still insistent on at least getting an invite.
The judge often comes across as a bit absent-minded and hard of hearing. Even as a child, the commentary on his report card read: "Has poor hearing, and often makes a mistake as a result." He has, on at least one occasion, wasted an entire day searching for his dentures only to realise they were in his mouth all along. This absent-mindedness has led to many comical occurrences in the courtroom. In addition, the judge sometimes finds it hard to follow what people are saying, very rarely understanding what Godot says. The judge's brother often criticises him for not studying hard enough, advice that he took to heart only relatively recently. Nevertheless, the judge occasionally shows signs of deep wisdom, with his statements on the nature of the law at the end of Vera Misham's trial as a perfect example. Miles Edgeworth also once described him as the the perfect example of what a judge should be: One that isn't perfect, and allows themselves to become emotional during cases, yet still ultimately manages to hand down an accurate verdict. Apollo Justice also once described the judge as being wiser than people may believe him to be.
The judge is very out of touch with technology. He is known not to know the meaning of e-mail or computers, was dumbfounded at the sight of Cody Hackins's digital camera, and refers to old-fashioned things such as the gramophone. He also has never heard of nail polish, leaving him puzzled as to why his wife's nails were red.
The judge often lets his fear of certain people get to him. He is horribly afraid of Franziska von Karma and always gives in to her, to the point of forgetting that he has more authority than she does. His fear of one witness, Furio Tigre, forced him to hide under his stand every time Tigre roared.
Whenever he is stressed, excited or speaks too much too quickly, he has a tendency to bite his tongue. Following the Cohdopian Embassymurder case, the judge considered teaming up with a bailiff and becoming a lawyer, but he decided to keep his current job.
The judge's real name is never revealed. Phoenix Wright once received the judge's business card, but couldn't read his signature (the image for said card is actually the same as that used for Wright's own business card). Therefore he is always refered only as "Judge" (裁判長 Saibancho in Japanese).
The judge has appeared in all main series Ace Attorney games to date. In fact, the judge has appeared in the second most cases in the series as a whole with 28, after Phoenix Wright with 31.
On a side note, Phoenix Wright is the only other character to have appeared in every main series Ace Attorney game.
He appears off duty for the first time in the anime adaptation episode Northward, Turnabout Express - 1st Trial, where he is shown still wearing his judicial robes and carrying his gavel; when Dick Gumshoe questions him on the latter, the judge replies that he just doesn't feel complete without it. He also speaks with a softer tone of voice.
His presiding over the trial of Matt Engarde marks the first instance in the series wherein a judge hands down an onscreen "Guilty" verdict that isn't later overturned.
The judge appears in the fighting game Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as one of Phoenix Wright's Level 1 Hyper Combos during "Courtroom Mode", Nightmare Judge, in which a shadowy giant version of himself (similar to his appearance in Wright's nightmare in The Lost Turnabout) appears while saying, "Order in the court!" He then smashes his gavel down on Wright and his opponent while saying, "Objection overruled!" While both battling characters are knocked down by this, only Wright's opponent takes damage, although Wright is knocked out of "Courtroom Mode" back to "Investigative Mode".
In the anime No Game, No Life, there is an elderly official who bears a striking resemblance to the judge. This likeness is almost certainly intentional, as the character is present in the third episode when Sora interrupts the coronation of Chlammy Zell by yelling "Objection!" (complete with Ace Attorney-style speech bubble) and playing music on his smart phone that is strongly reminiscent of "Pursuit ~ Cornered" (with the image on his phone showing the game's logo, having "Game Soundtrack" as its genre, and giving its title as "Pursuit ~ I'll Corner You!"). A similar scenario occurs in the fourth episode during Sora's and Shiro's argument during the coronation, in which both the same music and elderly official are once again present, only this time with the addition of the "Hold it!" interjection.
↑Jinxie: Ummm... So then you must know Enma Dai-O, the Appraiser of Souls. What's he like? Apollo: What's he like?! Well, uh... he's um... He's bald, has a white beard, and... Jinxie: A-A-And what? Apollo: He shouts, "Guilty!" and "Order!", while banging his gavel. I call him "The Judge". Jinxie: Oh, wow, he's as scary as I thought. Apollo: Nah, he's just an old man who's wiser then you might think. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies. Capcom. Episode: The Monstrous Turnabout (in English). 2013.