Contact me

You can e-mail me at:  Hercfriends@gmail.com.  I try to check that e-mail daily, and most often I respond on the same day.

If you need a phone number or mailing address, send me an e-mail.  Unless you strike me as really crazy, I will be happy to provide you with that information as well.

66 responses

  1. Judge, my name is Jeff Lindy and I am the CJA Panel Representative for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. I have just read your blog post entitled “Tit for Tat” and I would very much like to distribute the link to my Panel. Your comments and observations are insightful and brave, and I think that it would give hope to a lot of us on the Panel to know that there are some in positions of great authority, like yourself, who understand the constitutional magnitude of the problems being created by the sequestration. I will NOT distribute the link unless I hear back from you that I may do so.

    Respectfully,

    Jeffrey M. Lindy
    CJA Panel Rep, PAE
    215.575.0702 (office)
    215.990.6145 (cell)

  2. Jeffrey,

    Of course, please feel free to distribute the link. And, thanks for your kind comments.

    Incidentally, at the next CJA national meeting, look up Alan Stoler from Nebraska. He is our CJA panel rep. He is a great guy and a wonderful lawyer with tons of experience–but don’t tell him I said nice things about him.

    All the best.

    RGK

  3. Thank you, Your Honor, for delivering an informed, funny, downright delightful blog to those of us “of a certain age” and still interested in the vagaries of the Law. I came across your blog accidentally, and now it is purposely bookmarked on my header bar. I’m smiling and thinking “Beware of writing off us ‘Seniors’; we’re pretty smart!”

  4. I did not intend to be Anonymous. Apparently, I didn’t fill out everything I needed to… Well, some of us “Seniors” are pretty smart! Sandy Allbee Lacy

  5. I couldn’t figure out how to comment at the foot of your post.

    Regarding the Rich White Guy question: Let me say first that I am a civil trial lawyer, who does ocassional criminal trials. I would hope that every judge, in imposing every sentence, stops to ask “why did he/she do it”? and not just when sentencing Rich White Guys. Let’s skip whether Raj is “White” he is certainly Rich. My own answer, with all due respect to Judge Rakoff, who I have had the honor of appearing before, is that they are rationalizing the gut instinct to cut some slack for someone they recognize as one of their own.

  6. George,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, let’s certainly set aside my idiotic reference to Raj as a white guy. Funny though in a sort of eccentric off-hand way.

    I also agree that sentencing folks of your own tribe really gets at the heart of the matter. To be perfectly honest, I often ask myself whether I am capable of doing what the offender in front of me did. The answer is almost always “yes” when the offender in front of me looks like me, speaks like me, arose from a similar background as me, etc., etc. Not to so much when the offender seems “exotic.” Ain’t legal realism fucking scary.

    All the best.

    RGK

  7. Judge, you have my applause for speaking publicly. Your blog provides rare insight into “how [other] judges think”.

    I recently read a statistic that only 20% of Americans can afford a lawyer. If the concept is true that the legal system administers justice best when both sides bring their best arguments to the court (and if we put aside Mark Twain’s observation that “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics”), what becomes of a legal system unbalanced by the unwashed masses of pro se litigants doing legal combat with well-heeled adversaries who can afford a lawyer?

    Hey, this is pretty refreshing, asking the Judge questions! Thank you.

  8. Dear Judge,
    It was great to listen to you today in KUHF Radio here in Houston, Texas and it is wonderful to feel how open minded you are in allowing all of us to communicate with you directly. I will be reading your blog regularly from now and comment on it as necessary. Thank you again for doing it and greetings from Houston, Texas!

  9. Elba,

    Thanks very much for your nice note. I am glad you found the interview worth your time. I look forward to your comments if and when the spirit moves you. All the best.

    RGK

  10. There needs to be more judges like you!

    We plebeian’s lack a power to fight (i.e. people with power they fear, judges like you), it is too late for us to fight, protests will only get locked down with arrests that we cannot afford. Calls will be ignored because of gerrymandering and some false sense of moral ideal by the speaker of the house. Only until congressmen and the like are able to be damaged are they vulnerable. This is where you and your peers come in as judges and legal servants. If people in power are treated the same as plebeian’s, only then will there be real change and accountability. Otherwise, congress is pretty much untouchable.

  11. In my haste that was a poorly written first sentence, but you get the idea. Congress pulls stunts that no one can challenge without complete sacrifice of their life.

  12. Anon.,

    Thanks for your heartfelt comment. I hope you are wrong. But, the skeptic in me screams otherwise.

    All the best.

    RGK

  13. I agree. I am a scientist doing cancer research, and the government shutdown is ruining my research and costing thousands of dollars of waste, since experiments that were started are unable to be completed. What is wrong with our Congress people??? We do need more judges like you!!

  14. Judge Kopf, doubt if you remember me but worked with you as an employee of Jerry Braun. Was always impressed with you and your wisdom. Just read your blog telling Congress to go to hell…Awesome blog….The insanity of all involved refusing to negotiate to meet an agreement for the betterment of the Country is true insanity. Thank you for your Blog.

  15. Judge Kopf (Rich), I wish I’d had access to this blog while I toiled in D.C. for 28 years before returning to Lincoln in 2009. I have admired you from law school (where we were class mates) to today. You remain literate, sane, witty, very smart, and measured . . . which is how I thought of you in law school. I have often mentioned you and Jay Riley to my very good friend, Jill Sayenga, at the Administrative Office of the US Courts, as class mates of mine and she always looked at me and said, “What happened to you?” If any of this seems sycophantic, it’s not. I’m just providing context for my newly found love of your blog.

  16. Dear Bob,

    How kind of you to write. We must have lunch.

    I really appreciate hearing from you. Incidentally, you down play your successes, but that was the character of the fellow I remember so many years ago.

    All the best.

    Rich

  17. Judge,

    Thank you.

    At last…access to citizen dialogue with the third branch of government: the elevated, robed ones, no less a part of a democratic society than the legislature we elect and the administrators we employ.

    In the latter half of the 1960’s, Lancaster County Juvenile Court Judge William Nurenberger (UNL Adjunct Professor of Business Law) inspired a good number of us undergraduates to believe in the Courts as a cornerstone of our society and economy, of which we were the beneficiaries.

    As is often the case in the sanitized bubble of classroom settings, our expectations soared. In the legislative and administrative branches of our democratically created government we would find rank politics; in the Courts we would find sweet Justice driven by reason and compassion.

    High expectations engender disappointment, the uninvited guest bringing prickly commentary.

    Children are treated cruelly in our Courts. Proof abounds in the state and local courts and is supected of the Federal Courts. Sans riches and income, children lack power and representation. Still in develoment, their nascent cognitive skills leave them silent, while the judicial system rolls over them in their homes, their schools and the society of their peers.

    Four non-federal court proceedings see children treated such:
    1. Adoption
    2. Foster care
    3. Divorce
    4. Juvenile Court

    This uninvited guest offers no remedy but expects improvement over time from those, whether Hercules or Umpire, who lead the judicial process.

    Best regards.

    Bill Kerrey

  18. I’m sorry you’re hanging up the blog and I bet Joe Palazzo is too. If not, he should be. I just sent my son to check it out (I’m a lawyer too and proud of him) after he asked for one of Posner’s books on judging for Christmas. Making judging more understandable makes it more useful; opening the human facets deepens the work. While I regret my son (and I) won’t be able to have the gift of more of your thoughts, I understand, and at least we’ll be able to rummage through the attic of your archive. Thanks for that. Maybe you will share some links of where you blog in the months/years ahead. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year — filled with more thought, humor, and sharing.

  19. I’m sorry you’re hanging up the blog and I bet Joe Palazzo is too. If not, he should be. I just sent my son to check it out (I’m a lawyer too and proud of him) after he asked for one of Posner’s books on judging for Christmas. Making judging more understandable makes it more useful; opening the human facets deepens the work. While I regret my son (and I) won’t be able to have the gift of more of your thoughts here, I understand, and at least we’ll be able to rummage through the attic of your archive. Thanks for that. Maybe you will share some links of where you blog in the months/years ahead. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year — filled with more thought, humor, and sharing.

  20. Montana 1001,

    Good for your son. Judge Posner is a brilliant, and he cares deeply about explaining how real world judging actually works and why. E.g., here. His books, articles and essays can be very dense, but it is almost always worth the effort of trying to puzzle through them.

    All the best.

    RGK

  21. Thank you — Thank you — Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I tried my darnedest to instill a sense of respect and decorum in the women who appeared before me. Even threw one out and told her to go home and dress with some maturity. Gave examples at Bar Association lectures of heavy-set women who wore short skirts and didn’t know how to sit ” like a lady” when counsel tables didn’t have “modesty panels”. Told them that if I, a woman, couldn’t concentrate — what about the poor guys?! Etc., etc., etc. Not to mention the jurors. Of course the same holds true for the non-heavyset women.
    In any event, thank you SO-O much for your comments. Read them in the Omaha World Herald.

  22. Pingback: Judge to female lawyers: Cover up - Hot Dogma!

  23. I don’t see anything wrong with what you said and I don’t see why it caused so much controversy actually. but that’s just me I guess.

  24. Good Morning, Judge,

    Thank you for your response to my e-mail. It is very much appreciated, especially since you had just undergone chemo treatment and were probably not feeling well (massive understatement!) Sorry to hear that the next round will be worse than the first. I hope you get to see some improvment in your overall health soon.

    In your blog, I noticed a couple of references which could be taken from the early days of Saturday Night Live (Jane, you ignorant slut! and the one about Franciso Franco).

    Were you a fan of the original SNL and if so, who was your favorite cast member?

    Thank you.

    Tom Marshall

  25. Please find the the word “comments” on the upper left margin, in italics, of the post you want to place a reply. Click on “comments.” That will, not surprisingly, take you to the comments. You must scroll down to the bottom of the comment section. (In the case of the first post on attire there are nearly 200 comments, so it takes a while.) When you get down to the bottom of the comments, you will find a screen for “Leave a Reply.” Take if from there.

    All the best.

    RGK

  26. I cannot begin to express how much gratitude I have for your courageous words to the Supreme Court. With all of the madness that politicians in this country have brought about, it’s easy to become pessimistic that ANY RATIONAL VOICE is left.

    Please, do not back down, do not STFU yourself, give them hell, and continue to work towards the ideals this country was founded on and whose citizens bleed their lives away for.

    Thank you. THANK YOU!

  27. I tend to agree with the anonymous writer you posted on your blog. In a nutshell, any appearance of bias does a jurist and the system he/she serves more harm than good.

    That being said, your comments on the recent SC opinion re a closely held corporation having the same rights as an individual as it pertains to health care (or anything else for that matter) are spot on.

    If these entities had wanted to remove themselves from the onus of obeying federal guidelines and rules then they should not have incorporated. “Oh, give me the benefits the law affords me but none of the attendant responsibilities.”

    Once again, kudos to your opinion but questions about using your bully pulpit to express them.

  28. I find it dishonest for you to rant about how the SC ruling allows closely held for profit corps to “deny birth control for its employees”… does the truth often get in your way? there are 20 different forms of birth control mandated/offered under ACA… Hobby Lobby agreed to cover 16 of them… 16, is that not enough? the 4 they opposed where/are considered abortion inducing medication, something to be taken after insemination or the high risk of insemination which to a highly religious person seems like abortion. It seems to me a fair agreement that allows for 16 types of birth control to be covered. I guess this is why we have division in this country, 16 out of 20 is considered denying women their right to health care or denying their birth control by liberals while conservatives think saying no to only 4 choices is more than reasonable…

  29. I find it dishonest for you to rant about how the SC ruling allows closely held for profit corps to “deny birth control for its employees”… does the truth often get in your way? there are 20 different forms of birth control mandated/offered under ACA… Hobby Lobby agreed to cover 16 of them… 16, is that not enough? the 4 they opposed where/are considered abortion inducing medication, something to be taken after insemination or the high risk of insemination which to a highly religious person seems like abortion. It seems to me a fair agreement that allows for 16 types of birth control to be covered. I guess this is why we have division in this country, 16 out of 20 is considered denying women their right to health care or denying their birth control by liberals while conservatives think saying no to only 4 choices is more than reasonable…

  30. Since your “stfu” comment has been gleefully picked up by liberal groupies like the loathsome Joan Walsh at Salon, I would like to question your theory that because the justices were Catholic they voted for Hobby Lobby. If they vote in a block as Catholics, why have not stood up for traditional marriage? After all, the Catholic churches opposition to homosexual marriage is long standing and well known. So under your theory homosexual marriage would have no chance in front of the court. So I guess your suggestion doesnt really work- does it?

  31. @Mike–if you think covering 16 out of 20 birth-control processes ain’t bad, you really don’t know what’s going on. Not all of the products are the same, and not all are used for birth control.

    Hobby Lobby’s religious concerns about abortion ring hollow in light of the company’s investments in abortifacients.

    And in the end, women still do die in childbirth, have strokes, become injured. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it still happens. It’s like Russian roulette, so if a woman is going to take that risk, she damn well should be able to plan for it at a time that she deems optimum.

  32. My Facebook entry to your post which has entered the FB universe:

    My law school classmate . . . I agree with him totally and completely. I also know how difficult it is to balance his desire to show the judiciary as transparent and translucent against the probability that that some will see his honesty as compromising his judicial integrity. Some fall on the side of the latter, but I know him and I know he knows how to keep his personal views separate from his judicial responsibilities. In short, I find him completely refreshing . . . after all, if corporations are persons with free speech rights, so, maybe, are federal judges. You decide which is more problematic.

  33. Don’t quit being blunt and truthful. Your writing is an inspiration to take a stand against the current established government of puts who comes to a standstill at the bequest of one unhappy senator or representative. Also, I agree with your stance against the Supreme Court! They should STFU! If Texas can’t sentence a corporation to death then it should not be given the liberties of a living breathing person.

    J. A. Gutierrez

  34. ” After all, the Catholic churches opposition to homosexual marriage is long standing and well known.”

    The Catholic Church is a for-profit organization which says whatever will keep people coming and depositing money. Back in March the pope even said let’s not dismiss gay marriage. I suppose if you buy into this kind of bullshit you also gloss over important details like this.

  35. When things or verdicts are blatantly wrong it is refreshing to see that someone in your position and with your background, has the backbone to call it out. Keep up the good work, Sir.

  36. Thank you, Your Honor, for saying out loud what many of us are quietly thinking. Whatever decision you make with respect to your continued blogging, please remember, that you are in a unique position to be able to say the inconvenient truth and have people listen. As long as there are judges like you on the bench, there is still hope for what is just and true to prevail.

  37. I believe you can uphold and respect the letter of the law without agreeing with it. I would assume dissenting members of the Supreme Court can. Is “stfu” respectable? Probably not. But it was in the spirit of the remainder of your “hobby lobby” blog, which needed to be said. If discipline follows for expressing your opinion (other then a finger wagging on the FU usage) I’d take it up with a higher authority. That should be interesting. Corpoartions having constitutional freedoms but not individual judges. Hmmm.

  38. Judge, I am not a lawyer nor a member of the judicial system; I am an American citizen. I stand completely with you regarding your comments on the SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby. Frankly I believe our system works best in compromise and dialog. In my opinion it is of great benefit for the people of this nation to know that our judicial system is not lock step and that dissenting opinions do exist and are willing voiced. The Pope doesn’t get everything right and neither does the SCOTUS. I think even the Americans that will benefit from this decision understand that this is a chauvinistic, pro-business, partisan decision and that it is wrong. God bless you and thank you your Honor!

    D R D Hauser

  39. Hello Judge,

    I have never written a judge before, but your words rang so true with me that I wanted to respond and assure you that there are millions of people out there that are incredibly disgusted with the way that the Supreme court is destroying 50 years of judicial precedent.

    How these 5 men have undercut years of compromise, over sensitive issues regarding ordinary AMERICANS, that have fought against Corporate greed and Corporate overreach.

    That fought against the wealthiest Americans being able to control the election process.

    That have fought for equal voting rights and women’s rights.

    Over and over again, this Supreme Court has destroyed years of painful progress that helped to make the playing field level.

    It is an absolute shame that these men are in the power positions that they are in. It is disgusting and your words spoke out against this. I commend you.

    Sincerely,

    Allen Sayble

  40. Blogs in many cases are an irritating display of ego. With yours I’ll make an exception. Ego and lots of education sometimes work pretty good. Keep writing!

  41. In regards to your Hobby Lobby Case you mentioned that proven that the Court is now causing more harm (division) to our democracy than good? Well it is amazing to me how many tax consuming public servants there is in this Country that are so ignorant that they think we are a democracy! (communism the same thing, and our founders very intelligent men had NO intentions on forming a democracy) We are a Constitutional Republic, and democracy is the corrupt system being crammed down the American Peoples throat for decades by stupid public servants like yourself. I believe all public servants should be forced to take a Constitution class taught by we the people, the militia anybody but a government employee, because they are for the most part Constitution brain dead! These are all facts, not my opinion you can see this every day in the judiciary, legislative, and especially the executive branches of government. You can also see without a doubt there is NO CHECKS AN BALANCES they are one in the same, nothing but organized crime!

  42. once again the people of the united states get the shaft. illegals come in at will because the phoney in the white house continues to break the law and act as a dictator. i wonder how big the tax bill will be this time just to take care of these parasites? with nobody adequately patrolling the border can we even be sure that terrorists even now are not streaming across? funny thing that the only people who have to obey the law and get stuck with the bill are we the american taxpayers. federal judges violate the constitution on a daily basis with not a thought or concern what they are doing is breaking the law. as long as the lawbreaking entity known as the democrat party remains in power the average american will continue to be stepped on. this power play using immigrant children is nothing more than a ploy to overturn future elections once the scum gets voting rights. the law should be changed where only those employed can vote.

  43. WB,

    I am sorry you feel this way. From where I sit, federal judges are not all like you portray them, although I agree we make plenty of mistakes.

    All the best.

    RGK

  44. It’s funny how grammar and punctuation can affect one’s message. A lesson pro se litigants should consider. If you elect to disregard counsel, make sure you minimally hire a proof reader!

  45. Pingback: “One Lovely Blog Award” – You’ve been nominated… | The Mind of Brosephus

  46. Anon.,

    Thanks, the article was very interesting. By the way, for a lot reasons, mostly practical, I think “open file” discovery in criminal cases makes a lot of sense for both sides.

    All the best.

    RGK

  47. Some of us get antsy when our favorite (and old) Judge blogger doesn’t post for a long time, which is unusual for him. It also doesn’t help when his last post was about a “death march.” Just sayin’…..

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  50. You and your staff are not the only WordPerfect holdouts. It’s likely that, after the Apocalypse, a small group of us will find each other, clutching our most recent WP version, prepared to restore quality and style to word processing software. If we just had a generator …

  51. I like would like to aid my son in his fight for his freedom from state prison, to appeal his conviction where do we start? he been incarceration for (13)thirteen years (with health issues)
    Am just a mom but searching for ways to do thisby the law.
    TIA.

  52. my family members were railroaded by the cobb county prosecutor she lied to the judge and entered false evidence i have proof of this how do I file federal investigation with this evidence

  53. Homer315,

    Sorry for the late reply. Your reference is wonderful. I may well use it.

    Thank you.

    All the best.

    RGK

  54. Good Evening Sir,
    I’ve often thought of reaching out to you and quite frankly just get caught up in the chaos of day to day life; a wonderful, perfectly imperfect chaos that I share with my husband, 3 children, full time job, etc. My name is Mary Dubas. You may recognize that last name. My husband is Ben (the weed wacker guy,) I keep your article about Shon Hopwood and Ben’s response to that article close by and I re-read it often. It brings me a lot of joy and gratitude to refer back to it once in a while. I personally wanted to thank you, not only for what you did for my husband….because had you not, he probably wouldn’t have ended up being my husband and we wouldn’t have this life and these amazing little treasures that we share today. I am confident that Ben is not the only person that you have had a profound impact on. I imagine at times your job can feel like a very thankless one. So this is me saying “Thank You!” Thank you for your dedication to the justice system – in a country where that seems at times to be an issue. I appreciate you, what you did for him, and what I am certain you have done for many others.

    Best Wishes,
    Mary Dubas

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