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Know Thy Judges

          Appropos of my comments on the Reagan judges who dominate the
  appeals court in Washington that will hear the Microsoft matter, an
  antitrust plaintiff has inquired of me privately as to how he could find out
  about the background of the federal judge who is handling his case and those
  who will be hearing his (very) likely appeal.  Answer:  There may be some
  bio data on our 1,000 U.S. judges available online.  But the best source is
  in your local law library.  Stop by and tell the librarian what you need.
  She'll be delighted to find it for you.
          Charles Mueller, Editor
          The best source I know of is *Almanac of the Federal Judiciary,*
  published by LawLetters, Inc., Chicago, which unfortunately costs $300 or
  so.  (It includes such things as 'lawyers' evaluations,' anonymous comments
  on the judge by lawyers who are familiar with his court.)   Your nearest
  courthouse will have a law library.  Call the librarian there and ask her if
  she has this one or some other version.  She'll almost certainly have one of
  some kind.  (In your 9th Circuit, there are some 30 judges and it would be
  prudent to collect all their biographies.   On average, an antitrust
  plaintiff's odds are a little better in that circuit than in the other
  10--but they're still awful unless it happens to be, say, a price-fixing
  case of the most blatant sort.)
          Hopefully someone is going to point us to an online source, e.g.,
  the 'official' biographies of our 1,000 U.S. judges (as written by the
  judges themselves).  It's a safe bet, though, that an expensive commercial
  one like the *Almanac* won't be accessible on the Net for free.
          Needless to say, no competent antitrust DEFENSE lawyer would think
  of going to trial before a judge--or take an appeal to one--whose background
  he hadn't carefully researched, including his political/ideological
  orientation and how he's ruled in ALL of his previous antitrust cases.
  (For an analysis of all of the antitrust decisions of Clinton's 2 Supreme
  Court appointees, Breyer and Ginsburg, see my journal, Antitrust Law &
  Economics Review, Vol. 24, Nos. 3 and 4.)  Plaintiffs, being generally less
  sophisticated, routinely go before one or more of our (majority) antitrust
  'hanging judges' without a clue as to the trap-door that awaits them
          My best,