Posner Going Back to Court -- as an Advocate

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 25, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Former Judge Richard Posner may have retired, but he definitely is not going away.

He ruled for almost 37 years at the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, then abruptly turned his attention to reforming the court system by helping pro se litigants. However, the U.S. Fourth Circuit said his "advisory counsel" services were "not needed."

But not even a federal circuit, where Posner loomed large for decades, can keep him out of the courtroom. He will be appearing in the Fourth Circuit whether the judges like it or not.

Ready or Not

The Chicago Tribune said the Fourth Circuit gave Posner a "backhanded dis" by denying his request to appear as advisory counsel. Posner wanted to assist William C. Bond, a pro se litigant, without appearing as counsel of record.

"[W]e respectfully deny Bond's motions to allow a former United States Circuit Judge to appear in the case as "advisory counsel,'" the appeals court said in a summary decision.

Bond is suing government officials in a Maryland federal district court, alleging they violated his First Amendment rights by spying on him. He said it was "provable corruption" in the courthouse.

If Posner wanted a showcase for his own complaints about the judiciary, he picked a duesy. Bond alleges that three federal judges conspired to throw his case and misused federal agents against him.

Here He Comes

Posner has formally entered an appearance to represent Bond. Reportedly the most cited legal scholar in U.S. history, Posner will certainly bring some authority to his arguments.

But he is more than a former judge on a mission. FindLaw called him "the most interesting judge in the world" because of his "passionate, powerful and Posnerific opinions."

There's no telling what he will say next in the Fourth Circuit. And it looks like nobody is going to stop him from telling it like it is.

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