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Speaking of Judge Philips: I had a fairly early learning experience in front of her that was part of the process of learning to read judges.

So I appeared in front of her many, many, many times when she was a U.S. Magistrate Judge and I was a rookie AUSA.

She as a Magistrate Judge, and I as a rookie, handled long tedious calendars of first appearances and detention hearings and preliminary matters. Lots of court time over a few years.

Five or six years later I was in private practice and she was a District Court judge.
/3 I appeared before her on an important motion in a civil case. Hadn't seen her for years. She effusively greeted me and welcomed me to her courtroom. So good to see you, I remember you from your time as an AUSA, pleasure to have a fine lawyer in the courtroom, welcome, etc.
/4 Client, who is there for this Very Important Motion, is impressed and beaming, and I'm feeling like the cat's ass, utterly confident.

[at this point experienced attorneys are cringing in anticipation]
/5 Then she absolutely EVISCERATES me on the motion. I mean, like, a custom-made Mortal Kombat finishing move designed by a disturbed 13-year-old who furtively buries things in the yard.
/6 She was wrong, in my humble opinion, but she was exquisitely prepared and her ruling was extremely meticulous, which is absolutely the worst kind when you lose.

Anyway: Ken Learns To Read The Room.

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