Happy New Year and farewell

This blog started in February of 2013. It is now January 1, 2014. During this time, I have written 416 posts and there have been about 425,000 page views by readers. Roughly 3,700 comments have been made.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a very interesting article in which this blog was prominently mentioned. See Joe Palazzolo, Jurist Prudence? Candid Judges Speak Out, Wall Street Journal (December 31, 2013.) That in turn generated a thoughtful post by my friend, Pat Borchers, the former dean of Creighton Law School. SeeTalking judges” on The Way I see it, posted by Patrick J. Borchers at 12:12 PM on December 31, 2013. This attention generated over 4,400 pages views of Hercules and the umpire just yesterday.

In short, Hercules and the umpire has exceeded my wildest expectations. And so–it is time to kill it. In this forum, I have written all that I want to write and then some. It is that simple. My decision is final.

Before I conclude this last post, I wish to make several points:

  • I am not quitting because of ethics concerns. Such problems are real, but vastly overblown. A thoughtful judge has about the same chance of violating the Code of Conduct when writing a book, giving a speech, authoring a law review article or writing a blog post.
  • Conspiracy buffs need not fret and anti-judge nuts need not cheer. No one has given me the slightest trouble about expressing myself here. I am quitting voluntarily and without a nudge from anyone.
  • Although I am truly worn out, I am OK. I am not quitting because of health reasons.
  • This is a powerful medium for, among other things, making federal trial judging transparent and for trying to wrap one’s arms around the conundrum of judicial role. I hope some other federal trial judge takes up that hard but enormously satisfying labor.
  • I look forward to commenting on other blogs now that I am out of the biz.
  • To my astonishment, I have made several, perhaps many, friends along the way. I will maintain the e-mail address for the site, and I welcome hearing from these kind, smart (Oxford comma coming but just for fun), and thoughtful people. But, I don’t promise to respond as quickly as before. The foregoing said, you and each of you have my sincere thanks. Readers have taught me many valuable lessons about how to become a better judge and human being.
  • I will keep the blog “alive” for archival purposes, but nothing more. I will shut down the comment section in a week or so.
  • The photo below is how I picture myself today. That is, I am one lucky, old dog.

All the best.

The end.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack per Creative Commons license.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack per Creative Commons license.

RGK

135 responses

  1. Judge:

    Thank you for your insights, your candor and your accessibility. Many younger attorneys think Judges are some “godly” figures. You have helped with that.

    Please accept my best wishes and sincere “good luck”. Enjoy. Enjoy.

    Russ Carmichael

    • John,

      Fathers and sons have the same problem. When son is a teen, Dad is dumber than a stone. When son grows up a bit, Dad gets smarter.

      Thanks for your kind comment.

      RGK

        • Dear some gal,

          I am curious about several things. Why was the post “unsurprising?” What words evoked “a paternalistic tone?” And, finally, what did you mean by “#feminism #boysclub?”

          To be clear, I am not intending to argue with you or attack you. I just want to understand your words and reasoning.

          All the best.

          RGK

  2. Say it ain’t so, Judge, it’s been a fantastic thought provoking read. Heartfelt thanks for your courage, honestly and refreshing openness. I am honored to be a colleague.

  3. Pingback: Best Criminal Law Blawg Post, 2013 | Simple Justice

    • Dear SHG,

      I thank you especially for your engagement and I look forward to more, perhaps at SJ. By the way, you use words with the same elegant beauty and deathly seriousness as Riff, Bernardo, and Tony used switchblades in West Side Story. I admire your skill.

      All the best.

      RGK

  4. I have in prior chapters in my life done some blogging and it can be exhausting, so I understand. Anyway, not a bad way to start a new year, leaving people wanting more and riding towards the setting sun. Adios Herculesandtheumpire!

  5. I never responded to any of your articles, and whether I agreed with them or not, I always enjoyed them. I am sorry to see you go and will miss your blogs, including the pictures of your beautiful family. Good luck and happy new year.

    • Pat,

      What kind words especially about my family. By the way, do you think you can have a “beautiful family” that is, nevertheless, a pain in the ass? I do.

      All the best.

      RGK

      • LOL, families can be a wonderful thing, but they can also be a pain in the ass. That is why I always say, you can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.

  6. Well, isn’t it always my luck that, just when I start to take a bit of notice of something, it up and shuts down or disappears. I tell you, my timing has always been impeccable. Oh, wait. What am I doing? This isn’t really about my trivial misfortune. In that case, while there’s still time not to be a flagrant narcissist:

    Happy New Year, and best of luck in commenting on other blogs and whatever all other online endeavors you may enjoy, Your Honor. Although I wasn’t here the whole time, your consistency and devotion to posting were greater than what most manage for blogs of any duration. You made the most of the time.

    • Virgil,

      I marvel at lawyers like Scott at Simple Justice or Jeff at Gamso for the Defense or Howard Bashman at How Appealing or Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy who have turned out first rate work for an extended period of time. I really do think they must be meth freaks!

      Anyway, I appreciate your kind words. All the best.

      RGK

      • pdgpa,

        You ask that I “avoid as much cruelty as [I] can.” You are exactly right. It is a perspective that we judges should always carry in our hearts. All the best.

        RGK

    • Jeff,

      Coming from someone as highly regarded as you are, I am especially humbled by your words.
      Thank you. All the best.

      RGK

  7. I learned more about the practice of law here than I have in one and a half years of law school. Thank you for sharing some very personal stories on this website, and showing a young law student that the world is far more complicated than he ever imagined it to be. Good luck.

    • Southern Law Student,

      You are going to make a great lawyer. You always ask the right questions. Keep it up.

      All the best.

      RGK

  8. Thank you, thank you for this wonderous journey this past year. I have read every post and have been enlightened too many times to count. Go in peace and please know: we are the less for your leaving
    Terry Roberts

  9. Thank you for your kindness and for sharing your job and yourself. Your presence on the web and the legal blogosphere will be missed. You make those grand kids proud! Give ‘em hell Judge!

    • Erendira,

      Even though I am agnostic, if there is a God, you are doing her work. Keep the faith. What you do daily is worth the price you pay for the rest of us. All the best.

      RGK

  10. I think that one of the most serious problems with the criminal justice sytem is the general ignorance of what it is and how it operates. The internet can be either a knowledge or a stupidity amplifier and it is a great loss when one of our important sources of knowledge shuts down.

    Thank you for what you have done and good luck and a happy new year.

    • John,

      Yes, I agree. The criminal justice system, like any large governmental system, always benefits from transparency. And, thanks for recognizing one of the primary reasons I wrote what I wrote.

      All the best.

      RGK

  11. So sorry to see this go, but surely this was an added task that grew to exceed your expectations. I will miss this manner of keeping in touch and seeing glimpses of your family as I fondly remember your adult children when they were young. I also enjoyed “meeting” Dean Borchers on your blog.

  12. Wow. This is sad news. I hope, as you, that some other federal judge picks up the staff and runs with it awhile. As others have said, this has been thought-provoking, and educational. I’m glad you’re leaving it up, as I was late to the game, and want to read more. (As they say, “I have bookmarked this blog.”)

    You know I didn’t agree with everything (but what kind of world would it be if I did, nu?), but I am glad you wrote, and sorry to see you go.

  13. Your musings will certainly be missed. My only regret is that I will never get answers to the tough questions I pose to administrators of our hopelessly-dysfunctional kangaroo “court” system.

    To me, the most profound nugget from this blog was retired Judge Gertner’s admission that she was quite literally trained to commit felonies; by implication, our injustice system has devolved into a criminal enterprise. Kozinski, Posner, and many scholars have conceded as much, but no one who has worn the robe has ever confessed in public that the racketeering was in fact systematic.

    It is almost fitting that your blog should end on a Mike McQueary Moment, where you admit that “judges … make all sorts of compromises to make their lives easier … at the expense of” those who appear before them. Getting rid of perfectly good pro se civil rights claims clears a docket [Gertner], but at what cost? And what rights do we still have, if judges are free to ignore them in their hurry to accept yet another saccharine award from the local bar? To your credit, you state that you have “sincerely struggled to avoid knowing participation in those selfish conspiracies”–ones I would describe far less charitably, 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-42. But is that the extent of your legal and moral duty?

    In the Sandusky scandal, the NCAA has spoken, and its judgment of the Penn State program was appropriately unforgiving. McQueary had an affirmative obligation to speak up, and JoPa had an affirmative obligation to act on the information he had. But in the case of the criminal violations of litigants’ rights, federal judges have not only a moral but a statutory (18 U.S.C. § 4) obligation to speak up. The same Tenth Circuit which upheld the prosecution of Michael Fortier of Timothy McVeigh fame on misprision charges cannot credibly claim that the same statute does not apply with equal force to them.

    Citing a healthy cache of examples, I observed that 99% of federal judges are either black-robed Jerry Sanduskys who sodomize their defenseless victims’ rights, Mike McQuearys who are aware that it is happening but choose consciously to turn a blind eye to it, or Joe Paternos who actively cover the scandals up for sake of the reputation of the institution. You won’t participate in those “selfish conspiracies” … but as near as I can determine, you have done nothing to frustrate them. Even the great Richard Arnold displayed feet of clay in the legally-inexplicable en banc reversal of Anastasoff: instead of unleashing the compelling dissent he had in him, he pulled a McQueary. In the timeless words of Dr. King,

    Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

    You would think that the spectacle of a judge sitting in judgment of her own appeal would shock the conscience of even a fellow judge. But whether it is the Boston Archdiocese, the Nixon White House, the Penn State football program, or the American judiciary, members of the clique circle the wagons around admittedly wayward colleagues for the sake of the institution. My parting question to you is whether the federal judiciary ought to be judged any more or less harshly than the Penn State football program, and if so, why?

    As I don’t expect an answer–there isn’t one that is flattering to the cauldron of corruption that our federal judiciary has devolved into–I will merely wish you and yours the very best in 2014, and to the Bugeaters today. Thank you for doing this.

    • Ken,

      There is no way I am getting suckered into answering any question with Penn State as the premise. Speaking of football, my Bugeaters won today. I take that as an omen. Take care, my friend.

      All the best.

      RGK

      • I sincerely wish there were a better analogy, but there really isn’t. If you can think of one, I will use it gladly.

        All scandals have a common thread. You have those who commit the acts in question, those who look the other way, and those who cover up said acts to protect the institution. Analytically speaking, Penn State is the best analogy, on account of there being a third-party overview, and everyone agrees as to what the right answer is (both you and Pat have said as much).

        Litigants are as vulnerable in a courtroom as the kid in the shower. Duckman got bounced from the NY bench for saying what other judges think, basically mounting a tu quoque defense; in the acerbic words of Darrell Issa, “the only difference between God and a federal district judge is that God does not think he is a federal district judge.”

        The Boston Archdiocese scandal is close, but you don’t have judgment by an indepedent third party, and it is still a child-sex scandal. Pope Ratz made the problem disappear, kicking Cardinal Law upstairs to the Vatican (the rough equivalent of how the Judge Nottingham bribery scandal was disappeared by the local yokels in Colorado). And everyone knows JoPa — to a football fan, it is like saying “Dr. Tom,” “Bo,” or “Woody.”

        We had a similar scandal here in Colorado, where a district court judge went to the FBI with suspicions that one of his colleagues was doing coke on the bench. The judge making the accusation was demoted, whereas the one he accused was made chief judge of that district. The problem was that no one weighed in on this one that was in an independent position to judge.

        We had another one in Colorado where a former judge was caught stealing a state-owned laptop and downloaded megabytes of suspected “kiddie porn.” I know the prosecutor, and he is a straight-shooter. The Chief Justice (a fellow Harvard Law grad) tried to cover it up, and someone offended by the stench leaked the details to the press. Again, there was no independent evaluation of apparently-felonious conduct by the CJ … and when all this came out, the alleged perp swallowed a bullet under a viaduct. Scandal over.

        I use the scandal to pose the question: What is the duty of a federal judge in a situation analogous to the one Mike McQueary faced? Unilke McQueary (and Judge Martinez), you can’t be fired or demoted, so you have no reason not to do the right thing. I know I won’t get an answer, because there isn’t an answer that is even the slightest bit favorable to the federal judiciary and the status quo. But I will ask it nonetheless.

  14. I am so sorry to hear it. Please keep your blog intact as I would love to go back and read the posts I missed. I looked forward to reading your blog more than anything else each day. I thank you for sharing yourself with us! God bless you in the many years to come!

    • Dean,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective as a distinguished civil trial lawyer. I have especially appreciated your engagement. All the best.

      RGK

  15. I will miss reading your posts each day. Your blog, and your numerous responses to comments created an atmosphere of thoughtfulness and civility that I have found to be rare in the blogosphere.

    That being said, writing is hard and good writing is harder. I can only imagine the daily time commitment required to maintain the pace at which you produced such thoughtful posts.

    Thanks for the ride while it lasted, and best of luck with whatever comes next.

    • JDM,

      Thank you. This blog taught me that writing is hard. Funny that I never really thought about that until now. As for whether the writing was good, that’s another thing.

      All the best.

      RGK

  16. This is too bad. You had a lot of good, useful things to say, and I learned from them. Selfishly, that’s what I’ll miss….

    Eric Hines

  17. Rich, this sort of reminds me of watching a favorite TV channel go off the air, when they used to do that. You and I are old enough to remember the sign-off stuff and then the “test pattern.” I hope you’ll give some thought to archiving the posts here and making them available for academic research on request. Some of the information is quite valuable — the Hopwood sentencing comes to mind. I’m glad I had a chance to find it while it was still in existence. All the best, Pat.

      • Rich, you are welcome anytime. We’ll see whether I last any longer before mine exhausts what useful life it might have. And I suppose if I’d read more carefully I wouldn’t have said anything about archiving it, because you addressed that. Best, Pat.

  18. Pingback: "Happy New Year and farewell" | Internet Tax Lawyers

  19. Judge Kopf –

    As a newer (~6 years) attorney who practices exclusively in federal court, this blog has been a fascinating and extremely educational resource. I think its probably common, especially for new lawyers, to place judges on a pedestal – especially those with life tenure – and this clouds their perceptions of the court and a proper appreciation – and skepticism – of the decisions that courts issue. Your stated goal was to give some transparency to the court, and I can confirm that you have done that remarkably well. Learning about your decision making process has definitely influenced how I approach my work before the court.

    Thank you!

    • David,

      Thanks for your nice words. I am humbled that a scholar of your rank would take the time to write. All the best.

      RGK

  20. Sad news, but understandable, nonethless. I will certainly miss your regular dose of slightly twisted humor, and your straightforward candor! All the best!

    • Dear Always Interested and Often Amused,

      Oh, darn! I hoped against hope that my humor (?) was “entirely” not “slightly” twisted. But, then again, you are only “often” amused.

      All the best.

      RGK

  21. Just finished citing your opinion in Lotter, regarding the propriety of imputing knowledge, in an AEDPA case before the Ninth Circuit. Your opinion was one of the most informative on the issue. Just as your blog has served as an extremely insightful source of information about judges and judging that most members of the bench would prefer to be kept cloaked in secrecy.

    All the best! Your thoughtful commentary will be greatly missed.

    Paul

    • Paul,

      Thanks a lot. I am tempted to say something about not getting very far with the Ninth Circuit by citing to something that I wrote, but who knows, lightning might strike. All the best.

      RGK

  22. At the risk of so much “me too,” I simply want to thank you for your candor and clarity. The why’s are easily understood, and the finality of your decision ends the discussion. That said, you might find that there is more to say or that you miss the forum. If so, I hope to see and enjoy more later. But if not, thanks so much.

    • David,

      KInd of you to say so. “Candor” and “clarity” are central to how I would like to see myself–whether that is really true is, of course, quite another thing. All the best.

      RGK

  23. Thank you for your thoughts and insights about the legal profession and the practice of law. Your candor was so refreshing.

    • Vince,

      I appreciate your engagement. I also particularly appreciated your good nature and the fact that you graciously allowed me to use as you as a foil. All the best.

      RGK

  24. Judge,
    I can’t tell you how much I will miss your musings. I look forward every day to reading your blog in the bathroom. I always send your thoughts on to friends in the profession. We all wish more judges were as open and thoughtful as you have been.
    Good health in the coming year.
    Best,
    Richard Hirsch

    • Richard,

      I am delighted that you have a “reading room.” As you may recall, I had several posts about the fact that I don’t have my own. E.g., here. I am envious of your elevated status. Keep “reading,” you lucky dog.

      All the best

      RGK

        • Richard,

          I will keep the blog alive for archival purposes. As for a book, and as I told someone else, it would have to be something like Mao’s little read book. I would call it “Quotations from Chairman Kopf.” On second thought, let’s drop the thought.

          All the best.

          RGK

  25. If you would honor me, I would fly to wherever you sit and shoot a formal portrait of you. We’d have to have lunch together, somewhere, at your cost and choosing. I get 90 minutes to setup the shot. You get the portrait, which I will print and a digital image. I keep the copyright.

    And, for any of the rest of us, let me know about your desire to have images made.

    • Lorin,

      You are very kind, and I humbled by your offer for, among other reasons, because I know how really good you are. I must decline. I simply don’t feel comfortable about doing that.

      All the best.

      RGK

  26. Gonna miss you. You made the last year more interesting. Thanks for spending the time it took to consider and write. Keep that foot up. And Happy New Year.

  27. Judge,

    My name is Logan Cobb. I am an economist for the US International Trade Commission in DC. I am a (very) new reader of your blog, having been directed here by the WSJ article referenced above. I came out of curiosity and found myself five hours later scrolling through old posts. You have a wonderful prose and tell compelling tales. Although I am very disappointed you are ending the blog (I had a ‘well-that-figures’ response when I just logged on), I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed those five hours yesterday.

    I wish you well in your future endeavors.

    -Logan Cobb

    • Logan,

      Thanks very much. I too am sorry that we did not connect sooner. In any event,
      I appreciate that you took the time to write.

      All the best.

      RGK

  28. Judge, you’ve done a service to the judicial system by reminding we in the trenches that judges are very human, sometimes doubtful and comfortingly thoughtful. My best wishes to you and your family.

    David

  29. Pingback: The Judge Has Left The Bench | Simple Justice

  30. Not in the Law game, I”ve only just today learned of “Hercules and the Umpire”.

    With all the adulation for you work that I’ve read here, I hope your writings will remain available online. Late to the party sometimes being better than never to have arrived at all.

    Best of luck to you moving forward.

    • DDJ,

      As long as WordPress will take my credit card, I am going to keep the blog up to serve as an archive (my wife says that’s “your homage to yourself.” What a bitch!).

      All the best.

      RGK

  31. Well NOW how am I supposed to procrastinate every morning while acquiring a reputation among my (admittedly somewhat dim) colleagues for Understanding The Judicial Mind? Thanks very much — I’ve enjoyed this blog immensely. It hasn’t made me a better lawyer or a better person, but it has kept me informed and entertained. For free, what more can you ask for? AQ

    • Dear Auberon Quin,

      Pick any of Judge Posner’s stuff, and then quote one of his formulas to the dimwits. It always worked for me although I never really understood the difference between an r2 and r2d2. All the best.

      RGK

      • We are in the Seventh here. Posner doesn’t have the cachet (is that the word I’m looking for?) for us because we have to live with his stuff and are now all running around learning about science.

  32. This saddens me immensely. I feel like I only just recently found this blog and now you’re quitting just a month or two later. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and hope that you will someday reconsider and return to writing.

    • Sean,

      Don’t be sad be glad. I got awfully tiresome. But, thanks for your nice words. I appreciate them.

      All the best.

      RGK

  33. I’ve really looked forward to e-mail notifications of new posts for the reasons everyone has mentioned, and I want to say in particular thank you for engaging in such depth with all of us commentators. I’ve also been consistently struck by how respectful you are when disagreeing with someone — unless of course that someone is Congress failing to avert the shutdown (and then the vitriol is all too well-earned, I’d say). Anyway, thank you again for putting a lot of time and thought into this blog.

    • Dear Chocolatetort,

      On a serious note, one of the things I enjoyed most was the interaction with readers. In these days of snark (and don’t get me wrong, I love snark) being civil is too often seen as weak or lacking in principle. I detest that point of view.

      Thank you very much for your engagement. All the best.

      RGK

  34. I have enjoyed your commentary in the few short weeks since I found your site. I can’t say I always agreed with you (not a criticism, since I don’t always agree with myself), but always found your thoughts interesting and thought-provoking. Best wishes for your health and keep up the good work.

    • Stan S.,

      I am glad we did not always agree. That’s what makes being a lawyer or a judge such a fascinating (yet very rough) business. Thanks for taking the time to write. All the best.

      RGK

  35. I really enjoyed your blog and thank you for posting so frequently and thoughtfully! It was one of my daily reads. All the best to you and your family.

  36. Pingback: Blogging Judge to Put Away the Keyboard – Wall Street Journal (blog) – blog – Google News | News Magazine Blog

  37. Judge,

    By 2050, we’ll have made it mandatory that all judges blog an hour a week so we’ll know who’s a human being on the bench and who’s a mannequin in a robe clandestinely running the facts he likes the best through Google Jurist and spitting out mechanical opinions. I’m starting the movement to call the change the Kopf Rule but since neither of us will live to see the outcome, I’ll just contact you off-blog to talk about acquiring the screen rights.

    Good luck keeping your best opinions to yourself and thanks for the memories.

    • L.N. Collier,

      Your reference to 2050 tickled my fancy. By then, software will be able to mimic Tourette’s syndrome and all you will know is that the “writer” has the capacity for obscene and socially inappropriate words, not whether he, she or it is human. Come to think of it, how in the fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, and fuck do you know I’m human? At this point, I should start a riff on the Borg, but . . .

      All the best.

      RGK

  38. I demand that the 8th Circuit reverse this decision! Remand with instructions to post at least twice a week!

    But seriously, this has been an incredible blog, and I’m sad to see you go. I do hope you come back to post occasionally if the urge strikes.

  39. I’m really going to miss this blog, but I think it’s great that you are quitting so that you can binge watch Orange is the New Black. (Just reading between the lines here.) What source will I rely on for my rants to associates now?

    • MJ,

      Pretend I am still out there and fake a post. There is no way stupid associates will know, and your writing is better than mine anyway (which is why I never touched your stuff when you “worked” for me). All the best.

      RGK

  40. Your Honor,

    It has been a remarkable journey. I appreciate your candor from the black-robe side of our justice system. It has helped me think about our judicial system differently. I try, every day, to be a better judge. My sincere thanks.

    • Dear Judge,

      You are very kind. I honor your daily effort. It is a hard and frustrating thing to become a better judge each day but it is something we all should try to do even when we are tuckered out. All the best.

      RGK

  41. I’ve so enjoyed your blog, Judge Kopf. It’s sad to see it go. I wonder if it could be re-published as a book – a smallish book that could be tossed in one’s bag from time to time to re-read. It would be a unique privilege to personally stamp it with library property stamp and to slap (carefully) a label with its LC call number on the spine. God willing, we will still have money for books and rent by that time!

    • Librarian,

      First, I don’t claim a copyright, so anyone can do what they like with respect to my musings.

      Second, I am flattered by your suggestion. The cynic in me suggests that, like Mao, the book should have a red cover and carry the title Quotations from Chairman Kopf.

      Finally, and truly, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to write. I really do.

      All the best.

      RGK

  42. I run a criminal justice blog in Miami. Your blog has not gone unnoticed by us here and I for one will miss reading it. For me the highlight was the post on the young man you sentenced who went on to leave prison, graduate law school and get a clerkship. Your thoughts on sentencing, and his on being sentenced, should be, I respectfully submit, required reading for all judges and prosecutors. I fully understand how hard it is to produce a quality blog, and respect your honor’s decision. Godspeed and should I one day find myself fortunate enough to appear before you, I will introduce myself. Until then, I remain Miami’s anonymous blogger of limited fame.

    • Rumpole,

      I am well aware of your blog, and that is why I am particularly humbled by your comments. Thank you kindly.

      Please forgive this additional bit of information. I first had a chance to meet my mother’s father in Miami. He was a very old man by then. He had left his family, and his daughter, my mother, before WW II. He just left one day and vanished without a trace. In the mid-1950s, we were then living in Pass-A-Grille. Every city my mother would visit provided her an opportunity to scan the telephone books to see if his name popped up. One day it did while the family was in Miami, and I found myself meeting a “new” grandfather while watching tears roll down my mother’s face. Very strange. Anyway, Miami holds a special place in my heart.

      All the best.

      RGK

  43. Pingback: A Post Acknowledging Judge Richard Kopf: Would It Be Inappropriate for Judges to Endorse Contract-Language Guidelines? « Adams on Contract Drafting

  44. I am sorry to see you retire once again, this time from the blogosphere. My memory is very clear of our early days in Lexington practicing law. If we had only known as much then as we do today…both of the law and life’s experiences. The law and the many opportunities and experiences presented to us have been very good for which we are truly blessed. Good luck Rich, oops I mean Judge.

    • Greg,

      How nice to hear from you. And, of course, you are right–when we were younger we were dumber. That was probably a good thing since, at least for me, I doubt whether I would have had the courage to proceed. Again, thanks for your kind words and remembering me after all those long years ago.

      All the best.

      Rich

  45. Pingback: Federal Judge : Ethical concerns in law blogging vastly overblown

  46. Judge Kopf – I am sorry to hear the news about the blog, but I certainly understand it. I have read all the comments on this post about saying farewell. It is obvious that many people from a variety of locations, professions and interests have found your thoughts instructive, humorous and fascinating. I have learned a lot from reading and then thinking about your perspective on a variety of topics. As I have previously indicated, your experiences have generated reflections on other adventures, which has made the blog even more rewarding. I wish you the best! Elaine Mittleman

  47. I am a federal prosecutor in a large city–about to leave my office to do defense work–and I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write a wonderful, thought-provoking blog that has often guided my thinking on the prosecution side and will continue to do so as I join the defense side. As a father of two, I especially loved, “Some things are more important than others.” Your use of that phrase, in the most touching contexts, is going to stick with me–and I hope guide me–for a long time. All the best to you, Judge Kopf.

    • Federal Prosecutor,

      You are doing what? Going to the dark side? Just kidding. Indeed, it takes a certain amount of courage to switch from being a prosecutor to a defense lawyer. Good for you.

      And, indeed, some things are more important than others. Like your two children and being able to look at yourself in the mirror.

      Thank you for writing.

      RGK

  48. I must be stupid. I have read this entry more than once and I can’t figure out why you are quitting. Anyway, like many others, I will miss your blog. I hope you reconsider at some point – at least blogging very occasionally.

  49. Judge: I appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog and feel I am a better person for having had the pleasure of reading your posts. Permit me to simply say “thank you” and wish YOU all the best

  50. WHAT? I just got here and now you’re telling me Elvis has left the building?
    Fine, but I’m still going to stand here and hold up my lighter and stomp my feet and yell FREE BIRD! along with all these other people, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
    Thanks for leaving the album here for us enjoy at least (even if it doesn’t exactly qualify as an LP).
    Sorry I didn’t get here in time to see the live show.
    And PS thanks for doing eleven months of community service without even being sentenced. That really is unprecedented in my experience..Regards, Jessie Desolay

    • Jessie,

      Thanks so much for your kind note. I especially enjoyed the reference to Elvis leaving the building. Since I like ostentatious used Cadillacs, the image particularly resonates with me. See here. All the best.

      RGK

  51. Pingback: The End Of An Era? | thelegalreformer

  52. Damn I’m gonna miss this blog. Sadly, it was often the highlight of my work day! As you say, Judge, “All the best.”

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