Reflections from the Bench
Personal essays by your fellow judges (active or retired) talking about their experiences in the judiciary. Have an idea for an essay? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: The author, far right, with staff and team leaders of the
group monitoring a peace agreement in South Sudan
By Hon. Larry G. Sage (Ret.)
My first entry into the cafeteria at a U.N. mission in South Sudan reminded me of the cantina scene in the original Star Wars movie.
By Hon. T. W. Small (Ret.)
Note: The following excerpts are from You Are Not a Lawyer Anymore: A Primer for Those Who Want to Be a Good Judge (2018). They appear here with the permission of the author. The book’s foreword states that Judge Small hopes that by sharing what he learned in his many years on the bench “it
By Hon. David J. Dreyer
“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”
― T.S. Eliot
Great poets are able to discover great truths – as long as they use language wisely. For example, Mr. Eliot’s observation does not indicate that our wishes will ever come to be, only that they can be made “possible.”
By Hon. Karen S. Adam (Ret.)
I reread cases I hadn’t looked at since law school. I reviewed law review articles and blog posts. I honed my PowerPoint and teaching notes to perfection.
By Hon. David Certo
As a judge, I have a lot of authority but no magic powers. I cannot change the past, make people fall in love, or turn unhappy people into happy people. What I can – and must – do is help defendants develop and follow plans to overcome their problems and prevent havoc from spreading in our community.
Photo: Senior Judge Larry Sage (right) in Afghanistan, where he served as a Rule of Law Advisor from 2007-2010. Next to the UC Berkeley alum (notice the “Cal” patch) is his “shooter team” leader (identity confidential). Advisors traveled in armored vehicles (rear) with three armed shooters, two of whom were always Gurkhas (retired British Nepalese Army).
By Hon. Larry