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Judge Kozinski Receives Witkin Medal from the California State Bar:

"[T]he medal recognizes 'those legal giants among us who have altered the landscape of California jurisprudence.' It is conferred on people 'who, through a career of extraordinary service, have made significant contributions to the quality of justice and legal scholarship in our state.'" An eminently well-earned honor for a superb judge (and, I'm pleased to say, my brother's and my former boss).

Hans Bader (mail):
This is a good sign, since it suggests that the bar currently has less of a left-wing bias than it used to.

I remember one past instance in which the medal was given to a left-wing state appellate judge who specialized in creating work for the trial lawyers, pushing the envelope, imposing outrageous damage awards, and making up new excuses to hold businesses liable for the acts of third parties.

Judge Kozinski, by Ninth Circuit standards, is a relatively conservative judge, who has written about the perverse consequences of various forms of judge-made liability rules.

It's also apparent that he doesn't simply fob off all his work onto his clerks, the way some lazy judges do.

You can often tell an opinion is a Kozinski opinion by the way it is written, even without first reading who issued the opinion: clear, well-written opinions, with a distinctive voice.
11.8.2007 11:23am
Former Law Review Editor:
"clear, well-written opinions, with a distinctive voice."

But see Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com
11.8.2007 11:31am
Cornellian (mail):
Sense of humor and clear, plain English decisions - you could do a lot worse.
11.8.2007 11:46am
Dave N (mail):
Having appeared before him in oral arguments, I know I have to listen carefully to what says for two distinct reasons. 1) He has a reason for his questions and is not just asking to hear himself speak. 2) His thick Hungarian accent makes him hard to understand at times.

That said, he writes clearly and distinctly. I point to him and Posner as examples of judges who write clearly, logically, and thoughtfully--in other words, what all attorneys should strive to do in their own legal writings.
11.8.2007 2:40pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Isn't he Romanian?
11.8.2007 4:00pm
theobromophile (www):
Yes, Romanian.
11.8.2007 9:28pm
TerrencePhilip:
I remember one past instance in which the medal was given to a left-wing state appellate judge who specialized in creating work for the trial lawyers, pushing the envelope, imposing outrageous damage awards, and making up new excuses to hold businesses liable for the acts of third parties.

you say that like it's a bad thing
11.8.2007 10:49pm