Despite appearances to the contrary, research suggests that New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higby is actually quite open-minded. "Every time I've been in front of her, I felt she's been fair," said Joseph Garvey, a defense lawyer in Toms River. "Some judges will look at a case and throw it out, or take positions. But she's down the middle." Of her current assignment, overseeing 3,500 Vioxx lawsuits filed in New Jersey, Higby noted, "A mass tort is a mountain of work." Whether tackling a mass tort or a massive torte, I for one think Higby is more than up to the challenge. Higby was the subject of much speculation this morning at Starbucks based on her photo in the business section of today's Los Angeles Times. Learn more about Higby here: Everything You Wanted to Know About Carol Higbee.