On July 8, I posted a blog noting that the clerk’s office of the SJC doesn’t contact the parties when a memorandum decision comes out, unlike a regular decision. Today Matt Pollack told me that this policy would be changed, and going forward, he will tell the parties when any type of decision issues, either by phone or email.
While I would love to say that this is just one sign of my many earth-shattering powers or silver-tongued persuasiveness, I know that, to the contrary, it’s simply that the SJC, clerks and Justices, is the most responsive court on the planet. People who have only practiced in Maine just don’t know how lucky they are.
I started my career working summers and clerking in Chicago, in the federal court. At four-thirty, when the clerk’s office closed, the staff would literally slam the door and crush the foot of anyone with the temerity not to run away the second the clock hand even approached closing time.
The judges also ran the gamut. I clerked for a great judge, still on the bench (John Grady), who was wonderful to work for. There were others, however …. I clerked for Judge Grady when he was the chief judge, and believe me, he had a job like herding cats – only each member of the herd had life tenure. So maybe the more apt analogy is that it was like herding dogs like my Newfoundland: if a Newfie wants to sit down and stay put, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
I firmly believe that there is some law of physics that requires at least one judge in the Northern District of Illinois to be, let us say, "colorful." (I call it the Julius J. Hoffman memorial seat.) The minute one of them retires, bam! another would appear. If you doubt me, google the name of a current member of that bench, Brian Barnett Duff.
So I for one am supremely aware of our good fortune with the Justices and the clerk’s office we have have here in Maine. They cooperate with each other and the bar; they listen and they work like the dickens. Good heavens, my understanding is that Justice Silver could be wearing a hard hat more than a robe these days, with his construction duties. When you consider that they are doing this with practically no resources and are paid bupkus, we should all be wafting rose petals in their paths or otherwise exuding gratitude every chance we get.
Thank you, Matt.