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Law; Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy


Imagine sitting as a law clerk to a great judge watching him preside at trial. Any young lawyer in that spot could be forgiven for having a fleeting fantasy of what it would be like to have that responsibility. There were no grand delusions about the future, but fate and good fortune stepped in and for sixteen years that law clerk became the judicial colleague of Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Today, my friend’s oil portrait hangs in my courtroom. In tough spots, I ask myself: What would KTD do? Judge Duffy successfully presided over many of the nation’s most difficult and significant trials of the late twentieth century. Because of his forty-four years of judicial service and the declining frequency of parties electing to proceed to trial, his impressive portfolio of trials will likely stand as a great achievement as long as the record number of championship rings on the fingers of Michael Jordan and Tom Brady. This Tribute will review those trials and focus on some of his unique practices.

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