A Legal Eagle’s Legal Eagle

Back in 1984, the New York Times ran an article on William Bryson, now a senior judge of the Federal Circuit.  At the time, Judge Bryson was special counsel to the chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section in the Department of Justice.

I thought his comments about eating at  Burger King prior to oral argument in New York were interesting [Link]:

For the oral argument, Mr. Bryson flies in the night before and studies in his hotel room ”either till I’m prepared, or I think it’s hopeless.”

Having It His Way

On every visit to each city where he handles cases, he has developed a ritual of having dinner and breakfast in the same undistinguished places. ”In New York, I go for dinner to a particular Burger King on Third Avenue,” he said. ”Burger King is perfect for my anxiety level. Otherwise, I’d be wasting good food on a churning stomach.”

He is ”crushed” if his regular place in any given city is closed when he arrives. ”I fear for the argument if that happens,” he said.

The typical oral argument may last 20 to 30 minutes. ”That’s not a lot of time for the anxiety I’ve described,” he conceded, ”but you can make a lot of mistakes in 10 minutes, which I’ve proved to be true.”

If Judge Bryson makes the trip with the Federal Circuit for oral arguments in New York in October, I wonder if he’ll keep up the Burger King tradition.

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