Judge Coffin received a very fitting tribute and I probably don't haveto blog on this because it looks like everyone was there. Justice Breyer attended, along with much of the First Circuit, Maine SJC, Superior Court etc. 47 of his 60-odd clerks participated. Congresspeople, the dean and ex-dean of the law school, I could go on.
I think the takeaway from the event is a snapshot into a balanced life. The first half were presentations from CJ Wathen, Judge Lipez and two of J. Coffin's clerks, MJ Cohen and AUSA McGaughey. The second half was the same from his family members – the 4 children and six grandchildren (including our own ex-Pierce Atwood-ite and now rock superstar Adam Kurtz. http://www.adamkurtzmusic.com/news/ )
But really the stories were seamless – the first half wasn't about one closed off part of his life and the second about the other – he had a good time and approached his professional and personal life in the same thoughtful, upbeat way. There were great stories about the pranks that he and the clerks used to pull on each other (one involving a live lobster scurrying around his private chambers, ultimately liberated at sea), his revival of the Democratic party, his judgeship style, his art, his relationships with colleagues, family etc. – and the message was that everyone received the same generous courtesy.
This is not a small lesson, and I think links with my last email about depressed and otherwise troubled lawyers. Judge Coffin lived an integrated and optmistic life. This sort of integration is I think a key to a fulfilled career as well as personal life. If anyone got it right, it was Frank Coffin.