Rules are, well, rules. My number one rule is simple: This is my blog, and I will do with it what I want and that includes (1) trashing your comments if they annoy me or (2) barring you from the site because I think you are crazy. I have other rules, but I am not going to tell you about them because my number one rule covers the waterfront.

Here are a few tips that may help you from violating my rules:

I love good writing, particularly about federal trial judges. I am fine with snark (particularly if it is directed at me), but I don’t like nasty or mean. I don’t like bullies or character assassins. I don’t like repetitive rants. I don’t like the terminally stupid. I greatly prefer reasons rather than conclusions. I am bored by those who think law is politics by another name–that’s not legal realism, it’s just plain stupid.

Finally, if you engage with this blog, be aware that you take risk especially because I don’t promise to have or enforce rules and because I owe you nothing, In short, volenti non fit injuria.


20 responses

  1. Christ all mighty, Do some grief work, get on with your job and life, and spare us your neurotic drabble–you self absorbed prick.

    John A Wagoner, Sr.

  2. Dear John A. Wagoner, Sr.,

    Last time I checked, you were dead. I don’t mean dead to me. I mean cold and in the ground. I attended your funeral. But, it seems that you have risen. Worse, you sound like your old self. Get back in the grave you walking dead. I have enough to deal with as it is and that includes all your spawn.

    All the best.


  3. I knew nothing of you before an article about you and some pretty unseemly stuff in a feminist blog I read. I of course I took them on their word, and even added my name to a petition requesting that you resign. I unofficially redact my name from that petition (not sure how to make it official). After showing your remorse with your poor choice of words, I believe that you are not a sexist monster. You are merely a man, with an unusual position. Hopefully you will maintain your blog. I’m interested in learning from you, I don’t believe that we all must speak with one voice, only be respectful – even in snark.

  4. I must have been a triceratops (note I picked the one with horns, i.e., “I’m tough” but also with frills) to have missed all the brouhaha. Or, an ostrich, but that implies intent, which would not be true. I am truly sorry to have only just found out yesterday that you write a blog (so I have gone back and read EVERYTHING), and that you are ill. Dammit. I am so sorry. Cancer sucks and will not rule here. (I read that linked definition, too.) Several friends are fighting this battle; one law school classmate succumbed last night. I am thinking about you. Please battle it with the same will with which you write. You can beat this.

    You are one of the smartest people I will ever have the privilege of knowing and working for. Your thought process opens doors in my brain. I wish I could see you think. I am so glad to have learned, albeit late, of your blog. I vow to be an avid follower.

    As to the current hubbub, I think I snorted out loud just now reading one of the vicious (and inane) comments by these people that do not know you, calling you sexist – Ha! I suspect you intended some discussion, but were surprised by the ferocity of some. Ah well, they will never know you. You have always been a huge supporter for women in the law and for women in general, and I knew this long before those two cases. You taught me so many lessons about being a good lawyer and an advocate. I remembered them for two decades trying cases and arguing appeals and still remember in my quasi-judicial role now. I personally think “don’t dress like a slut” is meritorious advice. And I don’t, and never did. I think everyone knew if I was trying to make a point. As a blogger, it must be hard to throw things out there and wait for the blowback. It would be hardest for me not to care, and not want to convince them of the true intent every time something was misunderstood. “Cilla” and “Anonymous Federal Attorney who doesn’t need bla bla bla” comments are great. Good to find this and I will be thinking about you.

  5. Dear 1st Clerk,

    You are dear friend. I cannot adequately express to you how much I appreciate your note. I just cannot. All I can say is thank you.


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  7. As a Very Sensitive Nurse I appreciate your rules. Hope you are doing well Judge with your treatments and I have you in my thoughts & prayers for a Full Recovery!!

  8. Judge, as an interpreter, I would love to interpret in your courtroom. Your common sense and sense of humor is missing in a lot of places. Your article on Hobby Lobby is awesome!!
    Thank you.

  9. July 8, 2014

    Dear Hon.Judge Kopf,

    RE: Your Hobby Lobby Blog Comments

    The lawyer who wrote you asking you to stop blogging is very wrong. One wonders if he also wrote the Hon. Judge Ginsburg asking her to stop her dissent !

    What you have written; what District Judge Rakoff did with reference to Wall Street Banks; what Judge Leon has done with reference to unconstitutional surveillance of Americans, if anything, has built confidence in the Federal District Judges, while what the five Supreme Court Justices have done again, and again, has shown those Justices to appear to “we the people” as corrupt, biased, and not worthy of being on the High Court.

    We the people now are depending on the lower Judges of the Federal District Courts to show the way and combat the corruption of the Supreme Court.

    Thousands of people do follow and understand what is being done in the Courts now more than ever before because of Social Media such as Twitter which is filled with discussion of court decisions, some irreverent, some quite serious and educational.

    If the lawyer who wrote you thinks anything will again build trust in the Supreme Court as long as those five are on it, and after their rulings on Voting Rights, Citizens United, and Hobby Lobby, he is living in his own bubble. Most shocking to anyone is the fact that Scalia and Thomas did not recuse themselves from Citizens United, after partaking financially of the largesse of a party connected to the lawsuit, nor did Chief Justice Roberts suggest or insist they do so. It didn’t go unnoticed that Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan recused themselves from cases to which they had prior relationship. People are not stupid, but those on the Supreme Court who have abused the trust of the people again and again, and think they can get away with it, are. It is they who have destroyed trust and confidence in the High Court, not your blog.

    There is a movement to have certain of the Justices removed from the Court through impeachment, joining Justice Sam Chase of 1805; perhaps not achievable with this current House of Representatives, but within 6 months time, matters could change in the make-up of the House. With 56 million single voting women in this country, the five Justices should have known ” Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

    To allow some foolish lawyer, afraid of his own shadow, to infuence you “to be a proper fall in lockstep” Judge, is not going to help or change the people’s opinion of those five miscreants on the Supreme Court.

    Your voice, speaking plain common sense and truth with humor, would be a great loss. If you don’t follow Twitter, you might try it. You have become a hero, as has Hon.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the other Judges I’ve mentioned. If anything, the Judges who do speak out, gain trust in part of the Justice system, which otherwise is viewed as broken since the Supremes took the choice of a President away from the voters and more recently failed to jail the US bankers who caused the world wide depression, most especially hurting Main Street and so especially rankling.

    Please dont stop your blog..which gives hope and a sense of humanity in the Courts to “we the people”..

    Sincerely and Respectfully,

    J. Kelligesq

  10. Thank you for you outspoken words on the latest horrific ruling by the Roberts court. You upset some folks, and that is a good thing, considering those folks’ attitudes.

  11. Judge Kopf:

    I am an old man. (The son of one of my optical clients once observed that I was as old as dirt.) I am also a cancer survivor of 40 years and a man obsessed with written words. (As a teacher of English I observed to my students the rather simple–and radical–fact that our ideas are no more real or profound than the words we choose to express them.) So, yes. Keep blogging. Please.

    Living in Illinois I follow the opinions of the Illinois Supreme Court and even more avidly those of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Both Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook actually employ the English language in decisions. Remarkable.) Until the death of Gary Becker, I followed the Becker-Posner Blog. Even in my lifetime I recall that the law was our chief means of conversing about that existential dilemma: how do we live together, the topic of families gathered at the dinner table. (See? I am old. Do people still have ‘dinner tables’?) Conversing rather than shouting, ranting, threatening, dissing, heaping calumny.

    Any fool can blog and all too many do. Yours is the rare and welcomed breath of sanity. (Those who insist that judges should either have no opinions or refrain from expressing them are simply parroting a political faith with no connection to reality.) Don’t stop.

    Remember Tennyson? Speaking of the aging Ulysses slowly preparing for another journey, he wrote,
    “Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

  12. James,

    How very nice. Thank you.

    “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

    What beautiful words. In truth, though, they sound too highflalutin for me. Let’s just say
    that I try.

    All the best.


  13. Pingback: Truth Redux Redux | Lawyers on Strike

  14. Pingback: My blog, my rules « Hercules and the umpire.

  15. Judge-

    As a “non-lawyer”, I’m thankful to you for making this blog available, and I appreciate the very little usage of legalese.

    Please continue to opine us with you experiences.

    Best Regards.

  16. Why so defensive Judge? Millions and millions of Americans are begging for someone like Ted Cruz to “speak the truth” that our checks and balances have been hijacked with respect to what the founders intended.

    If the constitution can be twisted and reinvented selectively within the court systems, why not evolve our checks and balances in this “enlightened” age.

    I mean, Federal Judges sure have “evolved” and interpreted the constitutuon in a way the founders would have never forseen, so we should tweak this broken “check and balance”. What’s fair is fair!

    You will see that “I Speak the Truth”. Millions and millions think exactly like Ted Cruz and you call him a Wacko. Are you calling us Wackos too. This position was brought on by federal judges own doing in overreaching in their agendas.

    I wish I could find a lifetime appointment/job doing something. Boy, could I stir things up.

    And by the way, Judge, how do you have time to manage a personal blog and why would you want one. It seems aliitte out if character for a Federal Judge?

    I hope and I tried obeyed all your rules for posting…….. Thanks

  17. Dear Judge:

    It is just today, in light of the Cruz article, that I have found your blog. Sadly, it took me this long to come across it, in that you have decided to close it down. However, I will certainly enjoy the archives. I graduated from Albany Law School. I have a great respect for judges, especially those who do what is right and just rather than what is popular. I am happy, too, to hear that your cancer is in remission. That is wonderful news. I wish you the best of health now and in the future.

    About the Cruz article, I agree wholeheartedly and appreciate so much that you took the time to state what is so important. I liked your use of the word “wacko” to describe Cruz’s plan to amend the Constitution. It would have an adverse effect on the country, I believe, to change the Constitution in this way. I was interested to hear that Teddy Roosevelt had proposed something similar in his time and glad that it was not taken seriously then. As it is 2015, I am hopeful that others have the same opinion that you do, which makes good sense. I believe and know that we take the good with the bad, or, in balance, the opinions of the Supreme Court. So happy that you brought up segregation as an example of something that was unpopular at the time it was decided, as I feel the same way. It is a great example of the importance of the Supreme Court to decide those issues that are unpopular with some, but important for justice to be served.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Darlene McPeek

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