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September 24, 2013

Judge Jed Rakoff’s stance on the SEC deals draws fire, praise—and change

Over lunch in New York City in 2009, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff took a dare. Then-executive assistant U.S. attorney Fred Verilla complained that the prosecutor’s office had lost four games in a row in the Lawyers Co-Ed Softball League. Rakoff joked that it likely had to do with Verilla being team manager.

A can-you-do-better retort led to a one-game stint for Rakoff as manager. And the judge cut an unusual figure on the field for that game against the Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler law firm.

“’I wore my robe because I figured that would intimidate the umpire and all the close calls would go my way,’ Rakoff says with his characteristic growl of a laugh and a light slap of his palm on the see-through glass desk. His capacious, cluttered chambers provide plenty of testament to his being an inordinately serious baseball fan (of the Yankees, to be exact).

What was the rookie manager’s genius in an 11-1 victory? As Rakoff tells it, he had his team’s least experienced players, its two women, bat first and second. He figured the opposing pitcher would be more hittable at the outset before getting a feel for his best pitches.”


Read full ABA Journal profile on Judge Rakoff here

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