In November, Judge Frank Easterbrook will take over from Joel M. Flaum as Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit. Judge Easterbrook, of course, is a judicial celebrity of the first order: a veritable judicial hottie, a possible SCOTUS nominee, and brother of well-known author and ESPN.com commentator Gregg Easterbrook.
At 57, Judge Easterbrook is still pretty young by judicial standards. But he’s been on the bench for over two decades, since 1985. During that time, he’s developed a reputation as one tough customer. Attorneys who have appeared before Judge Easterbrook say that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly — and he admits as much himself:
“I sometimes have a reputation for being undiplomatic, but I like to think it’s only when I choose to be undiplomatic,” Easterbrook said. “Sometimes it’s my preference to be blunt because I think that’s the only way I can get lawyers moving correctly.”
So yes, an oral argument before Judge Easterbrook is no walk in the park. But we have some advice for lawyers appearing before him — his Achilles’ heel, if you will.
A fun and little-known fact about Judge Easterbrook: he likes to eat at Arby’s. So if you’re arguing before him and filled with dread, stash an Arby’s Melt in your briefcase. If the going gets rough, and Judge Easterbrook has you between a rock and a hard place — for example, on the verge of conceding your entire case — take out the sandwich and ask: “May I approach the bench? I have an Arby’s Melt for you, Your Honor. Yum yum!!!”
Exacting Easterbrook to Be Chief of 7th Circuit [Legal Times via How Appealing]