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It is a commonplace among former law clerks of "the judge" who have gone on to a Supreme Court clerkship—gone, as Learned Hand might have it, from "puisne judge" to "puisne justice"—to remark, when the talk turns to the judicial process, that its nature is nowhere more agreeable than on the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In part, this assessment may reflect a sentimental attachment to one's first job. In part, however, it reflects the tempo and the mood of that unique court in downtown Boston.

It is a small court, three men, with not a great amount of business; and with business that receives not a great amount of publicity. One has a feeling that there is time to watch from the chambers of the Chief Judge the occasional ship in the Boston harbor, or the red and white lights at dusk escaping the crowded city.

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