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Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:46 pm
by Anonymous User
General thoughts? Any especially active ones? Do most still take term clerks? How many clerks is average?

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:54 pm
by Anonymous User
I think a lot depends on the judge. I know of senior judges who are still with it and active, still carry full loads - one senior circuit judge sits as a district judge a lot of the time, in fact - and their clerks have plenty to do (my impression is they still have a full contingent of clerks but I might be wrong on that; but I know the circuit judge I'm thinking of takes term clerks). However, there are a couple of senior judges I'm aware of who probably should not still be on the bench, which would be problematic (though I also don't think they take term clerks). IME you'd need to ask around to find out about the specific judge.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:22 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:General thoughts? Any especially active ones? Do most still take term clerks? How many clerks is average?


Some are great to work for. Some are still very active. Others are not. If your choice is senior or no clerkship, you clerk. If its senior v non-senior, it depends on the judges and youll need to do research. As a former coa clerk, I can tell you that one draw back for clerks for senior judges is that sr judges usually arent involved with the en banc process, and the en banc cases tend to be the sexy ones.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:33 pm
by Tangerine Gleam
Great idea for a thread. Because each senior judge handles their senior status so differently, I think we should post anything we've heard about senior judges.

Michael Daly Hawkins (9th): Apparently stepped down so that Obama could get another 9th Cir. appointment, but otherwise he is quite young (68) and I think he still has a full caseload. I have heard only extremely positive things about Judge Hawkins.

Judge Noonan (9th): Keeps a 25% caseload, from what I hear.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:19 am
by Anonymous User
EDVA:
-Judge Ellis - 100% case load
-Judge Cacheris - 85% case load
-Judge Hilton - 100% case load (I think)
-Judge Payne - I'm not positive, but I believe he has a full caseload

DMD:
-Judge F. Motz - 100% case load

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:37 am
by ClerkAdvisor
Here's the COA Senior judges that I can think of right now:

1st:
-Judge Stahl - reduced case load, 2 term clerks

2d:
-Judge Sack - slightly reduced case load (~75%), 3 term clerks
-Jude Straub - slightly reduced case load, I think he still has 3 term clerks and hires at least 1 year out
I don't know about the others - there are a lot... and of course, Judges Calabresi and Leval are now senior as well

3d:
-Judge Barry - 3 term clerks, has a very strong preference (might be a requirement) for district court clerks (she has fed a few clerks in the past)
-Judge Aldisert - lives in Santa Barbara
-Judge Garth - 1 term clerk, lives in CT and clerk lives in CT

4th:
-No clue

5th:
-Judge Higginbotham - 3 term clerks, 100% case load
-Judge Wiener - 2 term clerks
-Judge Benavides - 2 term clerks (I think, not 100% sure)
not sure about the others

6th:
-Judge Suhrheinrich - I think he only takes 1 term clerk now
-Judge Gilman - I think he takes 3, but I could be wrong
not sure about the others

7th:
-Judge Ripple - 2 term clerks, and I think 2 part time career clerks
not sure about the others

8th:
-I really don't know much about this Circuit

9th:
-short version - there are lots of senior judges, and they run the gamut from 100% to very reduced case loads
-This is also about the only circuit where the en banc process is super super busy (i.e., you'd be missing out not doing en banc in the 9th, whereas in, for example, the 4th, there's only 1 or 2 en banc hearings a year).

10th:
-Judge Ebel - 100% case load and takes a 10-20% district court draw
don't know about the others

11th:
-don't really know much about the senior judges on this circuit

DC:
-I don't know much about the senior judges here, but Judge Williams is well known for supporting young academics.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:01 pm
by Anonymous User
Does clerking for a senior A3 judge hurt chances of securing post-clerkship employment? i'll be clerking for an senior USDC judge for 2 years post-graduation and am curious.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:07 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Can't speak from experience, but I've heard people say that senior judges are great because they've been around for a while and therefore know everyone.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:38 pm
by Anonymous User
Do many of these Judges use Oscar or are direct sends the way to go?

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:56 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Do many of these Judges use Oscar or are direct sends the way to go?


The judge I'll be clerking for was grayed out on OSCAR. Paper app was the only way.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:47 pm
by Tangerine Gleam
Anonymous User wrote:Do many of these Judges use Oscar or are direct sends the way to go?


Just like active judges, it depends. I know some senior judges definitely take apps via OSCAR.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:55 pm
by Anonymous User
Another benefit of clerking for a senior judge is that you're much less likely to spend your time on Social Security appeals and habeas cases. At least in my courthouse, senior judges can turn those cases down, unlike the active judges, who take whatever is assigned to them. Relatedly, senior judges also often get to pick the most plum, high-profile cases.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:06 am
by theaccidentalclerk
Another benefit of clerking for a senior judge is that you're much less likely to spend your time on Social Security appeals and habeas cases. At least in my courthouse, senior judges can turn those cases down, unlike the active judges, who take whatever is assigned to them. Relatedly, senior judges also often get to pick the most plum, high-profile cases.


You had me at no social security appeals.

(For those aspiring clerks, SS appeals are incredibly boring and technical cases involving appeals of SS disability benefit applications. The fact patterns vary, but it usually comes down to "the ALJ didn't consider/weigh this piece of evidence like s/he should have." The problem is that you're usually going to find a ton of cases saying that's an error, and a ton of cases saying that it's not, or that it's harmless error. But unless you're a social security lawyer, you can't really tell whether this is a situation where some of the cases are on point and controlling, or whether it's a situation where the law is just all over the place. Compounding that, some circuits or COA judges seem to hate the SSA, so reversal is a real concern if you affirm. But then you don't want to remand everything that comes before you, because that's not fair to the ALJs.)

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:08 am
by A. Nony Mouse
theaccidentalclerk wrote:
Another benefit of clerking for a senior judge is that you're much less likely to spend your time on Social Security appeals and habeas cases. At least in my courthouse, senior judges can turn those cases down, unlike the active judges, who take whatever is assigned to them. Relatedly, senior judges also often get to pick the most plum, high-profile cases.


You had me at no social security appeals.

(For those aspiring clerks, SS appeals are incredibly boring and technical cases involving appeals of SS disability benefit applications. The fact patterns vary, but it usually comes down to "the ALJ didn't consider/weigh this piece of evidence like s/he should have." The problem is that you're usually going to find a ton of cases saying that's an error, and a ton of cases saying that it's not, or that it's harmless error. But unless you're a social security lawyer, you can't really tell whether this is a situation where some of the cases are on point and controlling, or whether it's a situation where the law is just all over the place. Compounding that, some circuits or COA judges seem to hate the SSA, so reversal is a real concern if you affirm. But then you don't want to remand everything that comes before you, because that's not fair to the ALJs.)

Thank god the magistrate judges handle these in my district. (And habeas cases, too.)

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:09 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Another benefit of clerking for a senior judge is that you're much less likely to spend your time on Social Security appeals and habeas cases. At least in my courthouse, senior judges can turn those cases down, unlike the active judges, who take whatever is assigned to them. Relatedly, senior judges also often get to pick the most plum, high-profile cases.


This is true of the judge for whom I will be clerking. He doesn't take: ERISA, SS appeals, patent cases, or a few other classes of cases he doesn't wish to hear. And if something comes to him and it doesn't strike his fancy for whatever reason, he can send it back for re-assignment to another judge. I'm pretty stoked about this.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:47 pm
by Anonymous User
Any recent movement?

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:54 am
by Anonymous User
Bump.

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:12 pm
by Anonymous User
all else being equal, any impact on post-clerkship job prospects for senior v. active judges? (i.e., is it less prestigious to clerk for a senior judge?)

Re: Let's Talk Senior Judges

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:29 am
by Anonymous User
theaccidentalclerk wrote:
Another benefit of clerking for a senior judge is that you're much less likely to spend your time on Social Security appeals and habeas cases. At least in my courthouse, senior judges can turn those cases down, unlike the active judges, who take whatever is assigned to them. Relatedly, senior judges also often get to pick the most plum, high-profile cases.


You had me at no social security appeals.

(For those aspiring clerks, SS appeals are incredibly boring and technical cases involving appeals of SS disability benefit applications. The fact patterns vary, but it usually comes down to "the ALJ didn't consider/weigh this piece of evidence like s/he should have." The problem is that you're usually going to find a ton of cases saying that's an error, and a ton of cases saying that it's not, or that it's harmless error. But unless you're a social security lawyer, you can't really tell whether this is a situation where some of the cases are on point and controlling, or whether it's a situation where the law is just all over the place. Compounding that, some circuits or COA judges seem to hate the SSA, so reversal is a real concern if you affirm. But then you don't want to remand everything that comes before you, because that's not fair to the ALJs.)


Let's be clear.... Those ALJ opinions are generally pretty awful. And ssd cases really aren't that tough. Habeas is much more complex