The First Roberts Opinion:
As Juan notes below, the first signed opinion by Chief Justice Roberts was handed down today in Martin v. Franklin Capital Corporation. The subject matter is arcane — when to award attorney's fees under 28 U.S.C. 1447 if a state case removed to federal court is remanded back to state court — but I thought I would take a look at the opinion anyway.

  It's a nice piece of work, I think. It takes the reader through the issues pretty carefully, explaining the choices clearly at each step and justifying the Court's decisions using the text and context of the statute and the context of other related statutes. The opinion also announces a clear rule to guide district courts: "We hold that, absent unusual circumstances, attorney's fees should not be awarded when the removing party has an objectively reasonable basis for removal."

  Of particular interest, the opinion pays tribute to the two judges for whom Roberts clerked. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist gets a mention as the author of a relevant opinion: "As Chief Justice Rehnquist explained for the Court in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U. S. 517, 533 (1994), . . . " (p.4). Judge Friendly is cited for a jurisprudential point: "Discretion is not whim, and limiting discretion according to legal standards helps promote the basic principle of justice that like cases should be decided alike. See Friendly, Indiscretion About Discretion, 31 Emory L. J. 747, 758 (1982)."

  Finally, Roberts tries to keep the tone relatively light, such as in this line:
We have it on good authority that "a motion to [a court's] discretion is a motion, not to its inclination, but to its judgment; and its judgment is to be guided by sound legal principles." United States v. Burr, 25 F. Cas. 30, 35 (No. 14,692d) (CC Va. 1807) (Marshall, C. J.).
  Okay, so it's not exactly a knee-slapper, but I thought the "good authority" line added a nice touch given the dry nature of the topic (even if the sentence itself didn't add much). All in all, a solid first opinion.