A Few Tips for a More Security-Conscious Lifestyle

Vol. 53 No. 3

Judge Henry E. Hudson is a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Virginia and a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the National Center for Judicial Security. He formerly served as the director of the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County, Virginia.

Chief Inspector John Muffler, administrator of the U.S. Marshals Service’s National Center for Judicial Security, manages a program that assists federal, state, local, tribal, and international stakeholders on best practices within court and judicial security and has oversight of academic and operational programs.

The intensity of litigation in today’s world is unprecedented. An unfortunate byproduct is the potential for retribution against lawyers and judges. When it occurs, the aftershock touches the lives of every member of the legal community. News coverage of assaults on judges, prosecutors, and practicing attorneys typically engenders moments of introspection—what if it happened to me—or, worse, my family? Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes, it is too late to adopt a protective strategy. Interest in security reaches its peak in the days immediately following an act of revenge against a lawyer or judge. Regrettably, as memories fade, so does interest in security.

Project 365, developed by the U.S. Marshals Service, in league with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security, is designed to foster security awareness 365 days a year. It strives to promote a security-conscious lifestyle at work, at home, en route, and even while on vacation. In today’s high-stakes litigation, the emotions of litigants and affected persons sometimes reach a flashpoint. Acts of retaliation are unpredictable, so every member of a judge’s or lawyer’s staff and family should be trained to react in a crisis. This preparation should include periodic training exercises to ensure quick response. Remember, even momentary chaos can give a potential assailant the edge.

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