Pierre Leval

Judge Paul Watford

Congratulations to the newest member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Paul J. Watford. On Monday, Watford, currently a 44-year-old partner at the super-elite Munger Tolles & Olson, was confirmed to the federal bench. The vote was 61-34, and it came after a bit of drama in the Senate.

It’s surprising that Watford’s nomination was so contentious, given that he has a number of backers from the right side of the aisle. As noted by the San Francisco Chronicle, “[h]is supporters included conservative UCLA law Professor Eugene Volokh, who has described Watford as brilliant and ideologically moderate, and attorney Jeremy Rosen, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the conservative Federalist Society” (and a noted appellate lawyer, who has appeared before in these pages).

That’s not all. Watford clerked for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, one of a handful of prominent conservative or libertarian judges on the (generally liberal) Ninth Circuit. If you look at the ranks of former Kozinski clerks, you’ll see many members in good standing of the vast right-wing conspiracy (and some who are not, like Paul Watford — who went on to clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by a Democratic president).

Now that the handsome Watford has joined his superhottie boss on the bench, we have a trivia question: Who is the circuit judge with the most former law clerks to join him on the Court of Appeals during his lifetime?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Some Federal Judicial Congratulations — and a Bit of Trivia”

Tiffany ring2.jpgFirst, how delectable is that Tiffany engagement ring currently being advertised all over the NYT wedding pages? So big, so sparkly, so inevitably overpriced! We pity the poor guys who’ll be shelling out their clerkship bonuses for that one.
Second, memo to the New York Times: Since when does summer employment merit mention in the wedding pages? If we once spent Christmas break shoveling David Souter’s driveway, would that get us a write-up? Or is it just that the word “Skadden” makes you all trembly?
Here are this week’s couples (no summer associates here!):

1. Alexis Krock and Grant Mainland
2. Emily Sheehy and Reed Carey
3. Jessica Rodriguez and Emile Lisboa

More on this week’s couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 5.20: Boy Meets Jersey Girl”

Once again, the wedding pages were chock-full of lawyers last weekend. Without further ado (because LEWW has other things to post today), here are your candidates for Couple of the Week:

1. Jenny Huang and Roger Hong
2. Melissa Epstein and Jason Mills
3. Celeste Sharpe and Peter Brown

Continue reading about these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 4.22: Love Is a Battlefield”


Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgWe’re not the only ones who spend way too much time curled up with the New York Times wedding announcements. So does NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.
Here’s his amusing (and true) commentary on the “Vows” column, aka “the Big Box,” from his blog:

In my experience, brides in the Big Box have some common traits:
They are invariably “more at home in a pair of combat boots than they are in high heels.” They are ALWAYS described as “spontaneous.”

The brides-to-be are a “constant blur of activity” and are apt to “kayak down the Hudson at Midnight on New Year’s Eve.”

Many of the men are in passionless relationships until they are hit squarely on the forehead by the club of love, in the form of the aforementioned combat-boot wearing free-spirited woman.

A fair number of these men, of course, are lawyers. Williams continues:

Weddings are always on a bluff, a dune or a “sweeping lawn,” and are usually officiated either by an Enormously Powerful Federal Judge who’s a friend of the family or a member of the online ministry community with names like “The New Life Church of the Free Spirit.” Participants seldom wear shoes.

“Enormously Powerful Federal Judge”: Isn’t that redundant?
Okay, fine, some federal judges are more powerful than others. And some federal judges officiate at NYT-featured weddings more than others. In our years of reading the “weddings and celebrations” page, we’ve noticed a lot of Judge Pierre N. Leval, of the Second Circuit. He appears to have officiated at almost 30 weddings profiled in the Times. See here.
A trivia challenge: Do you know of a federal judge who has officiated at more NYT weddings than Judge Leval? If so, please name him or her in the comments to this post.
Nonstop News [The Daily Nightly]
Brian Williams: ‘NYT’ Styles Section Is Like “Dessert on Paper” [Gawker]

judge john m walker jr judge john walker.jpgMore details have emerged concerning the accident in which Judge John Walker (2d Cir.) hit a police officer with his SUV. Here’s the latest news:

A federal judge in a sport utility ran into a police officer directing traffic in the rain, critically injuring the officer, authorities said Thursday. New Haven police Chief Francisco Ortiz said Senior Judge John M. Walker was “very much distraught”over the Tuesday night crash.

Officer Dan Picagli, 38, was in critical condition Thursday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He had been wearing a black raincoat and a reflective vest when he was hit, Ortiz said.

Ortiz said Walker is cooperating, and police did not feel it was necessary to test him for drugs or alcohol.

Coincidentally, just last month the New York Law Journal published a rather long article reviewing John Walker’s successful tenure as Chief Judge of the Second Circuit. Some excerpts and commentary, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More on Judge John Walker”