Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I was sorry to learn this morning that Judge John T. Elfvin died-- 91 is a good run, and he seemed like he probably enjoyed most of it. It was always an edgy pleasure to appear before him-- he didn't suffer fools particularly gladly, and expected counsel to be on their game, but that's what good judges ought to do. I think perhaps the thing I will remember best about him was that his motion calendar was held at 3:30 on Fridays. That's a hard working judge. In my experience he was a careful jurist, who worked hard to get his rulings right. His resistance to the federal sentencing guidelines was characteristic of the guy-- he drolly observed that he took them at their word, and treated them as guidelines. He took heat for it, he made a quiet little joke about it, and he was ultimately proved right.

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