What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

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What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:55 pm

I don't mean to bring up a morbid topic, but I am legitimately curious as to what happens on the lower courts if a judge unexpectedly passes. I know that even many senior judges hire several years ahead. Anybody know anything on this topic or worked with clerks who have been in this situation?

Libya

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Re: What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

Post by Libya » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:28 pm

From what I understand, other judges on the court sometimes hire the clerks for future terms; worst case you have to find another clerkship but you have the talking point that a judge thought you were good enough to hire. I would imagine the better the judge that passed away, the more likely you are to find something worthwhile (e.g. I think when Judge Reinhardt passed away his clerks all ended up on their feet; though they also had excellent credentials, of course).

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Re: What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:27 pm

This happened in my circuit when clerks had ~3 months left in their clerkship term. Other judges in the circuit "adopted" those clerks and helped them finish out their term.

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Re: What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:53 am

That happened in my district. The district's chief judge got permission from the circuit for the late judge's clerks to stay for up to 6 months and do work for other judges.

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HenryHankPalmer

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Re: What happens if your judge passes away before/during clerkship?

Post by HenryHankPalmer » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:48 pm

I know one person whose judged passed away six months into her clerkship with a federal district court. She was "adopted" by a COA judge who sat in the same city for the remainder of her term and ended up staying on with the same COA judge for the following term. Granted this was a decade ago, but, when it happens, the clerks seem to land on their feet.

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