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.
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
By Hon. David J. Dreyer
A few years ago, in the first two days after my state began recognizing same-sex marriages, I officiated over 50 such marriages. For reasons I did not expect, it changed my life.
By Hon. James M. Redwine
A syllogism: All sentient humans have learned, implicit biases, all judges are sentient human beings, ergo, all judges have implicit biases. The issue is not whether judges are biased. The issue is how judges can guard the people affected by the judge from her/his particular biases.
Reflections from the Bench: Not exactly how I remember it: Returning to regular trial duties 20 years after retiring
By Hon. Jess B. Clanton Jr.
It wasn’t unfamiliar territory.
I had worked as a judge in rural Oklahoma for more than 21 years, 18 as a general jurisdiction judge. On most days, I was the only judge in the courthouse in a county of about 14,000 people.
I “retired” 20 years ago but since then had filled in for judges who were