I know that this blog has been solely focussed on my life as mom to the amazing JR. I am, however, a working mom, and until this past December, I worked as a practicing attorney. Long before JR, long before I married, I had the honor and privilege of working on the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. While there, I was lucky enough to work closely with some truly great jurists - Judge Higginbotham, Judge Sloviter, Judge Scirica, and Judge Becker. This past weekend, Judge Becker passed away and I've been reading the lawblog entries and news articles and remembering my own experiences.
I once worked with Judge Becker on a prisoner's rights case. The position I had advocated, in my bench memo, was not adopted by the majority. Judge Becker, however, agreed with me and drafted a dissenting opinion that, once circulated among the panel, was adopted by another judge and became the majority opinion. When the decision was published, Judge Becker signed a copy of the slip opinion. Roman v. Jeffries. I need to dig that copy out again.
When I was leaving the court to take my next job, with a federal government agency, Judge Becker teased me "Oh, so soon you'll be arguing cases on behalf of the agency in front of me." I explained that the appeals were all handled by attorneys in the agency's national office and that I wouldn't be making any arguments. "Not if I tell them I want you to argue the case," he replied.
I'm truly sorry that I never did have the opportunity to argue a case before him. He served the legal profession well and makes me proud to be a lawyer.
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