Friday, August 30, 2013

Bonus Blog!

One of my most-admired colleagues retired this week after over 24 years on the District Court Bench.  Judge Edward Lynch served the people of Minnesota with distinction over his career, presiding over high-profile cases with dignity and competence.  He served as Chief Judge of the First Judicial District for several years, and has been a valuable asset on many statewide judicial committees.

As a parting gift to the staff of the District, Judge Lynch sent out a beautiful poem that sums up well the tasks faced by trial court judges.  It is reprinted here, with his permission.  Best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement, Ed!

Becoming a Judge

When you grow weary of lawyering, the stress and the strife
When you realize you want more purpose and meaning in your life
When you can leave behind the advocacy that defined your career
And embrace neutrality and solitude without hesitation or fear


When you can see in every criminal a trace of good

When you can follow your conscience and do what you should

Despite public pressure or media presence

And temper justice with mercy as you pronounce your sentence

When you are able to help lawyers and litigants reach resolutions
When you focus on the kids and not the parents in dissolutions
When all around you is chaos but you remain calm
And apply to society's wounds the law's healing balm

When you recognize the conflicts and strive to accommodate

When you overlook minor irritations and decline to intimidate

When you ease those before you: the frightened and nervous

With compassion, understanding and a commitment to service

When you look beyond the cases scheduled before you
And understand the ramifications of all that you do

On the administration of justice and the public’s perception
And conduct your life honorably, without exception

When you accept there is nothing routine about the matters you see
Because they involve peoples' freedom, property or family

When you can appreciate the tragedy and humor cases can have
But hide the tears and suppress the laugh


When you earn the respect of others and the community’s trust

When you’re considered fair, impartial, patient and just,

When you understand that the process is as important as the end

Then, then you will be a judge, my friend.