A “thank you” to Ann Fessenden

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Ann Fessenden will soon retire as the Eighth Circuit Librarian and Secretary to the Historical Society for the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit. That will be a great loss, especially to the Historical Society where Ann served as the glue that held the Society together.

Ann was extremely well-suited by education to serve our Circuit. From the University of Mississippi, she received her J.D., Magna Cum Laude in 1984. From the University of Oklahoma she received her Masters in Library Science in 1977. From the University of Oklahoma: she received her B.A. in Journalism in 1974.

Her service as our librarian brought national recognition. For example, she served as President of the American Association of Law Libraries in 2007 and as President of the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries in 1993-94.

Ann became Circuit librarian in 1984. By the time of her retirement Ann will have served nearly 31 years. In every meeting I had with Ann, and there were many in my capacity as Chairman of the Board of the Historical Society, Ann’s thoughtfulness, discretion and experience were evident. Her good counsel and immense institutional knowledge served all of us well.

As Ann leaves to pursue her interests in travel or to serve as principal bassoonist to a local symphony orchestra, she carries with her the deep appreciation of judges and judicial staff throughout the Eighth Circuit. Well played, Ann!

RGK

 

Roscoe and Richard and Circles and Ovals

“Some shapes have no corners and therefore no distinguishable sides. Circles and ovals are examples of geometric shapes that have no distinguishable sides.” Michael E. Carpenter, Describe the Properties of Geometric Shapes (scroll down).

Earlier, I posted a photo of Roscoe Pound’s circular desk at Harvard. Today, I post a picture of Richard Arnold’s oval desk in Little Rock. These were two supremely gifted men of the law who understood that having “no distinguishable sides” was not a bad thing, but rather a beautiful thing.

This is copy of a photo showing Judge Richard Arnold's oval desk was supplied to me by our Circuit Librarian in jpg format. From the properties menu, it appears that the photo was taken on Wednesday, September 29, 2004. The copy appears to have been made on that same date.  Judge Arnold died on September 23, 2004 as a consequence of an infection he suffered while being treated for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (of the indolent variety) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He had suffered from, and had been treated for, the disease since 1975.

This copy of a photo showing Judge Richard Arnold’s oval desk was kindly supplied by our Circuit Librarian, the marvelous Ann Fessenden. The original photo was taken on Wednesday, September 29, 2004. Judge Richard Arnold died on September 23, 2004 as a consequence of an infection he suffered while being treated for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (of the indolent type) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He had suffered from, and had been treated for, the disease since 1975. Upon Richard’s death, his brilliant brother (Morris (Buzz) Arnold), a Republican at the time of his appointment as an Eighth Circuit Judge, said of Richard, a Democrat at the time of his appointment as an Eighth Circuit Judge,*He was second to none in the country. I mean that literally.” According to Tony Mauro, who has covered the Supreme Court for over 30 years: At the time of Richard’s death, eight Supreme Court Justices published tributes to his fairness, judicial restraint, and eloquent and influential judicial opinions.  It is hard to imagine, these days, eight Supreme Court Justices agreeing on the time of day. But, Richard’s unique spirit and remarkable gifts brought people together. He was, as Professor Polly Price of Emory said, like Learned Hand, “perhaps the best judge never to serve on the Supreme Court.”

RGK

*Clarification, Friday, May 23, 2014 at 9:53 PM: Richard made it clear when he was first appointed as a federal district judge (barely a year later he would become a Circuit judge) that once appointed to the bench he was a judge and not a Democrat who was a judge. Before he too became a Circuit judge, the same sentiment was true for Buzz once becoming a district judge. He was a judge and not a Republican judge.

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