(Rebecca Breyer/freelance photographer)
Our colleagues at a sibling publication, the National Law Journal, have unveiled a project in which they have obtained and published online annual financial disclosure reports of 257 federal appeals judges around the country.
The reports are available only through paper filings, so an online database is unusual.
The judges of the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit aren’t mentioned much in the articles based on the data so far, but here is a link to their reports (scroll down to see the searchable database). They list companies in which the judges own stock, details that may interest lawyers who have matters pending before the court.
In the project’s introduction, NLJ editor in chief Beth Frerking writes: “The financial reports reveal a trove of individual details: judges who obtained free legal services or who were reimbursed for speaking engagements in distant lands, for example, and one who reported money earned from record sales and performance fees for a folk group he’s played with since the 1950s. Our most compelling findings, however, highlight the special relationship between judges and law schools, which pay significantly for the experience and prestige an active or senior judge delivers. Five law schools—NYU, Yale, Cooley, Georgetown and Columbia—paid a combined total of more than $1 million for the privilege of listing appellate judges among their faculties; NYU’s School of Law alone comprised half of that, according to our research.”