American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 47, Issue 1-2, 32-37


Copyright © 2011 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


In our daily work as judges every ruling is of critical importance to the immediate parties. Most escape notice by the media. But from time to time, we are presented with cases where press and public join the fray.

How do we address these cases? How should we address them? High-profile cases certainly appear to differ from the norm, if for no other reason than the extent of the pressures they clearly impose on us. But, at heart, do they really require us to change what we do?

I was presented with a high-profile case a little more than a decade ago, one that the court on which I served and I both chose to handle in a way that differed from our customary approach. Despite all the apparent or superficial differences, in the end I came to the conclusion that while a high-profile case unavoidably requires varying degrees of logistical adaptation, its substantive resolution is effective only if it is guided by the very same principles we apply to our daily practice of the judicial art.

This is my story.