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NAME: Ronald Gould COURT: 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals APPOINTMENT: 1999, by President Clinton AGE: 56 LAW SCHOOL: University of Michigan Law School PRIOR JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: None Judge Ronald Gould has been a moderate member of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since his appointment in 1999, but that all changed a couple weeks ago when he reinstated the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. It’s not often a judge issues an opinion that shapes the future of 2 percent of the country’s land mass. With the ruling, Gould removed an injunction against a Clinton-era rule that prohibited the building of new roads into undeveloped areas of U.S. national forests. The ruling made logging and recreational interests furious. After clerking for 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wade McCree Jr. and for Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, Gould headed west to Seattle’s Perkins Coie. He spent nearly 25 years there building a reputation as an accomplished litigator in complex business matters, including a high-profile (and ongoing) antitrust dispute between Alaska salmon fishermen and fisheries. He also investigated several failed Washington-area savings and loans on behalf of the federal government during the S&L scandals of the late-1980s. In oral arguments, Gould will be active, coming across as a moderate member of the court who seems to follow the letter of the law faithfully. During his nomination, he was supported by both of Washington’s senators at the time, Republican Slade Gorton and Democrat Patricia Murray. Gould said he prepares for oral arguments by reading the briefs himself before any memos. He’ll dictate a memo to himself, read pertinent cases and, as argument approaches, consider which way he is leaning based on his own analysis and the input of clerks. Then he gives the lawyers on the losing side of the argument one last shot, and in doing so puts a great emphasis — maybe more so than others — on oral argument. “Usually, if I have a tentative position on a case, I try to develop the best question I can for the losing party to see if they can change my mind,” Gould said. Gould, who has multiple sclerosis, also stands out because he’s the only active member of the 9th Circuit who uses a wheelchair. Those who have known him only for the past couple of years might be surprised to learn that he used to be a hardcore mountain climber, although of the several Washington State mountains that Gould has scaled, he points out that he never saw the pinnacle of Mount Rainier. He has reached several other pinnacles during the course of his career, including a long-standing commitment to the Boy Scouts of America and terms as president of the Washington State Bar and director of a local college. As bar president, according to one former partner, Gould tried to diversify the state’s federal and state benches. And Jean Floten, president of 39,000-student Bellevue Community College, said Gould had a commitment to civil rights and social justice. He also, she said, had a practical side. “He would inevitably turn to the students and ask what impact this would have on them” when considering new proposals, Floten said. Former partners say Gould’s reputation was as someone with a strong, analytical mind. Their advice is to appeal to that mind. “I would say treat [oral argument] like you are trying to persuade,” said Perkins Coie partner James Williams. “He comes with an open mind. He’s said on a number of occasions that he finds oral arguments very helpful. … Don’t assume anything’s a foregone conclusion.” Harry Schneider Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie, said the judge has a meticulous, thorough mind that is “tempered by a sense of compassion and humanity. … He’s a person who cares a great deal about people.” Schneider said Gould won’t lock himself into any particular way of thinking, though. “He is very diplomatic. He is very receptive to new information and different points of view. And he weighs things, he absorbs things, he processes them in his mind.” That might lead to an inference of independence, which is born out by looking at Gould’s dissents. In consecutive months earlier this year, he dissented from opinions by liberal Senior Judge Betty Fletcher and conservative Judge Andrew Kleinfeld. He followed that up by penning a dissent in an en banc case for several members of the 9th Circuit’s conservative bloc. In that case, over the standard of proof for a civil rights claim, he broke from his longtime law partner at Perkins Coie, M. Margaret McKeown, who penned the majority opinion. You can order past judicial profiles of more than 100 Bay Area judges at www.therecorder.com/profiles.html or by calling 415-749-5523.

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