One of the most highly respected Massachusetts Superior Court Judges, Allan van Gestel, retired on December 31, 2007, at the age of 72. A recent press release from JAMS shows that Judge van Gestel is following the time-honored practice of becoming a mediator and arbitrator for JAMS (or another large mediation/arbitration organization). A lot of judges that try this really don’t seem very well suited for the task, for reasons that escape me. Maybe they have a hard time transitioning from a position of near-absolute power to little of no power at all. However, based on a lot of contact with Judge van Gestel (Ret.) over the years, and knowing his reputation as former head of the Business Litigation Sesssion, I suspect he’s going to break the mold, and will be very successful in this role.
Oh, and despite the title of this blog entry, if there were ever a former judge that proved the proposition that 72 is the new 42, it’s Judge van Gestel.
For some earlier comments on Judge van Gestel, click here, here, and here, and search the site for even more.