It’s not everyday that a federal appellate judge decides to pull the plug on a lifetime judicial appointment, but here we are.
Judge Paul Watford of the Ninth Circuit recently announced that he will be resigning from the bench to return to private practice. The 55-year-old judge will be calling it quits on May 31, and said it was “one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life.”
The former Supreme Court shortlister sent a brief resignation letter to his colleagues and to President Joe Biden late last week via email as an attachment. Reuters has some details on what he wrote in the body of that email:
Watford said he was “not sure yet what I will be doing next, but I anticipate returning to private practice.” He had been a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles prior to his appointment to the 9th Circuit, the largest of the federal appeals courts.
Will Watford be headed back to his old stomping ground at Munger Tolles? Or will he be moving on to greener in-house pastures? Only time will tell, and we’ll have additional coverage when we find out where he’s headed.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.