June 01, 2019 A Litigation Retrospective

Pearls of Wisdom

Kevin Abel

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To honor Litigation’s long tenure, we are re-publishing a group of articles from our early years to show our current readers how timeless good writing can be. This issue is not meant to be a “greatest hits” album put together by some editors who once wore bell-bottoms. Rather, we continue our tradition of teaching lawyers with examples of thoughtful pieces written in a style that makes you want to read to the end. Dig into this issue and you will learn something that you did not know.

The inaugural issue of Litigation in 1975 included a piece by Chief Justice Warren Burger on civility among lawyers. We include here an article on judicial independence written by then Chief Justice William Rehnquist, just three years after he had presided over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton before the U.S. Senate. It provides a historical perspective on the pressures placed on judges by the other two branches of government. With our current president often critical of the judiciary (including the sitting chief justice), this article is worth revisiting.

Over the years, Litigation has published interviews of leading trial lawyers and of several U.S. Supreme Court justices. We include here an interview of Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 2011, long before she was called “Notorious RBG” or was portrayed in a feature film by a lead actress from a Star Wars movie. Justice Ginsburg’s comments on the struggles for women’s rights and fair treatment in the workplace, which so defined her early career, seem like both inspirational history and a call to action today.

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