One of the most highly respected Massachusetts Superior Court Judges, Allan van Gestel, retired on December 31, 2007, at the age of 72. A recent press release from JAMS shows that Judge van Gestel is following the time-honored practice of becoming a mediator and arbitrator for JAMS (or another large mediation/arbitration organization). A lot of judges that try this really don’t seem very well suited for the task, for reasons that escape me. Maybe they have a hard time transitioning from a position of near-absolute power to little of no power at all. However, based on a lot of contact with Judge van Gestel (Ret.) over the years, and knowing his reputation as former head of the Business Litigation Sesssion, I suspect he’s going to break the mold, and will be very successful in this role.
Oh, and despite the title of this blog entry, if there were ever a former judge that proved the proposition that 72 is the new 42, it’s Judge van Gestel.