PROFESSOR EMERITA LAUREL TERRY ATTENDS 9TH CIRCUIT MEMORIAL HONORING JUDGE GOODWIN
April 2023 — Professor Emerita Laurel S. Terry recently attended the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s memorial session honoring Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, for whom she clerked in 1980-81. When Chief Judge Emeritus Goodwin died on Dec. 27, 2022, he was the oldest federal judge in the country, as well as the longest-serving current federal judge.
The April 27, 2023 event that Professor Terry attended was designated as a “U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Special Court Session in Memory of Chief Judge Emeritus Alfred T. Goodwin.” The session can be viewed online and the remarks from the session will be included in a future volume of the Federal Reporter. The speakers included the current Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Emerita Mary M. Schroeder, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg (by video), Judge Goodwin’s daughter Meg Goodwin, two additional judges, and Prof. Ron Aronovsky, who was Professor Terry’s co-clerk in 1980-81. All three of Judge Goodwin’s 1980-81 judicial clerks (Professors Terry and Aronovsky and John Giraudo) attended the special 9th Circuit session. Professor Terry was pleased that a 1980-81 law clerk was selected to offer “the clerkship perspective” (starting at minute 32 here).
Obituary tributes to Judge Goodwin have been published by the Ninth Circuit, the American Law Institute, and the New York Times, among others. Judge Goodwin was reportedly one of only two judges in the country to have served as a state and federal trial court judge and as a state and federal appellate court judge. Although he did not serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Goodwin was on the “short list” for the Supreme Court seat that ultimately went to Justice Stevens. When discussing Judge Goodwin’s judicial legacy, many of the tributes cite as one of his most significant opinions Thornton v. Hay, 462 P.2d 671 (1969), where the Oregon Supreme Court held that the public has a right of access to the dry sand area of Oregon’s beaches.
The April 27 court session honoring Judge Goodwin was held at the historic Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. The Pioneer Courthouse location was meaningful to Professor Terry and Judge Goodwin’s other 1980-81 clerks because this is where they began and ended their clerkship year. (In addition to Portland, Judge Goodwin’s 1980-81 clerks spent several months based in Pasadena where Judge Goodwin heard cases from December through March and helped plan the renovation of the building that is now a Ninth Circuit courthouse. In 1981, Pasadena’s landmark Vista del Arroyo hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the federal GSA began design work to restore the building as the southern seat of the Ninth Circuit. The Pasadena Courthouse is now a treasure but when Professor Terry and her co-clerks toured the building with Judge Goodwin in 1981, it was abandoned and decrepit.)
During her teaching career, Professor Terry shared with her students many of the lessons she learned from former newspaper writer and editor and all-around mensch Judge Goodwin. These lessons included the importance of a lawyer’s credibility and reputation; good writing (and short sentences); the standard of review; professionalism (and family and work-life balance); and collegiality — especially with those with whom you disagree.
Professor Terry also shared with her students the professional and personal benefits that can flow from a judicial clerkship. The professional benefits include those listed above, plus a “bubble of confidence,” which is a useful way to begin a legal career. The personal benefits include the connections that a close “chambers family” can foster. For example, Professor Terry’s co-clerks are among her closest friends and Judge Goodwin officiated at both her wedding and at a lunch for her family where Prof. Terry became a lawyer when she was sworn into the California bar. Moreover, the ties among the Goodwin clerks extend beyond those who share a clerkship year. For example, Judge Goodwin’s clerks gathered together at events in 1981, 1982, 2003, 2010, and 2013, in addition to the April 26, 2023 “Clerks Reception in Honor of Judge Goodwin” where former clerks shared many of their favorite memories and “Goodwin-isms.” Professor Terry last saw Judge Goodwin in person in August 2017, when she went to Oregon to see the solar eclipse; she even included a picture of him on the last page of her Fall 2017 Civil Procedure final exam. (Professor Terry had a tradition of writing CivPro final exams — with photos — that were inspired by an event she experienced during the prior year; her 2017 exam was inspired by her trip to Oregon to see the eclipse and Judge Goodwin and the wildfires that took place during this visit).
Fortunately for those who admire Judge Goodwin, his voice and distinct personality remain available. A CSPAN program on the Ninth Circuit includes a 20-minute interview with Judge Goodwin that begins approximately eight minutes into the program. For those who want more, the Oregon Historical Society has posted online more than twenty hours of oral history interviews with Judge Goodwin from 1985-86 and a one-hour interview from 2006. (Luckily, there is a 129-page searchable pdf index that describes the contents of each of the 47 recordings from 1985-86). The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society’s webpage honoring Judge Goodwin contains many of the pictures that were in the lobby of Pioneer Courthouse on April 27, 2023, including the iconic picture of Judge Goodwin on horseback, which was featured in the January 1969 issue of National Geographic magazine. Professor Terry and others will miss Judge Goodwin, but he will not be forgotten.
Professor Emerita Laurel S. Terry, who held the inaugural H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Chair in Law and was Dickinson Law’s inaugural Associate Dean for Research and New Faculty Development, is a three-time Fulbright recipient who writes and speaks about the impact of globalization on the legal profession, especially with respect to regulatory issues. Her scholarship has identified emerging issues for the legal profession and urged stakeholder engagement, new initiatives, and regulatory reform. In addition to speaking at academic and professional conferences, she has been invited to speak about her scholarship to organizations that include the Conference of Chief Justices, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the National Organization of Bar Counsel, the National Conference of Bar Presidents, the CCBE, which represents EU’s legal profession and legal regulators, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the International Institute of Law Association Chief Executives, the International Bar Association, and the International Conference of Legal Regulators.