Business Lit. Session

Business Litigation Session Conference

October 10, 2005

The Massachusetts Bar Association held an outstanding conference on the BLS in Boston on September 29, 2005. Several interesting documents distributed at the conference are linked below. Here are a few observations on the conference. First, the question foremost on everyone’s mind is whether Judge Allan Van Gestel will be “recalled” once he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in December. In the eyes of most business lawyers in Massachusetts Judge Van Gestel is synonymous with the BLS. He was the first and only judge in the session five years ago, and although the session has had several other judge rotate through a second session (BLS2), its hard to imagine the BLS without Judge Van Gestel at the helm. Moreover, Judge Van Gestel has created a Superior Court jurisprudence in the BLS which gives an unprecedented level of predictability to Superior Court practice. A quick Westlaw search on “Van Gestel” during the last five years results in over 250 written decisions. It’s common knowledge among members of the bar that Judge Van Gestel is eager to be recalled after he turns 70 at the end of the year. Judge Van Gestel confirmed this over lunch with several lawyers on September 29th. However, as the Judge told the lawyers at his table, although many Appeals Court judges have been recalled in recent years (owing to an inadequate number of judges…

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Allan Van Gestel to Retire From Business Litigation Session?

September 13, 2005

Business Litigation Session. Judge Allan Van Gestel has been the presiding judge in the Suffolk Superior Court Business Litigation Session (the BLS), since its inception in October 2000. The session has been an unqualified success, and is closely associated with Judge Van Gestel, who has brought expertise and integrity to the session. However, Massachusetts has a mandatory retirement age of 70, and Judge Van Gestel turns 70 in December. For an article discussing the history of the session and Judge Van Gestel’s imminent retirement click here. For the rules of the BLS click here. The question on the minds of many Massachusetts lawyers, of course, is whether Judge Van Gestel will be “recalled” for special assignments. Judge Van Gestel reportedly is open to the prospect, but so far, the State is mum on this issue.

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