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Law; Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy


Judge Duffy’s clerks benefitted from invaluable legal lessons. In my case, I was lucky enough to help him prepare for four sittings on the Ninth Circuit, where he regularly sat by designation. Each sitting presented a heavy caseload, and we lived and breathed the cases during those weeks. He wrote strong dissents. On one occasion, he aptly convinced the panel to adopt his proposed dissent as the majority opinion. We celebrated the occasion with chocolate ice cream. To be sure, the moments that resonate most are not the legal ones, but those found in the ordinary moments spent with an extraordinary man. To his clerk family, he was not the imposing figure on the bench or the skilled cross- examiner who grilled us during our interviews. He was, above all else, unexpectedly “human.”

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