Judge Coffin is an inspiration on so many levels for all of us. But just at this very moment in my own life, I feel that he is speaking personally and directly to me. I am in my own transitioning period, as-in just fifty-five days-my judicial service comes to an end after over twenty-five years, because our state constitution provides for mandatory age retirement. I particularly liked a quotation Judge Coffin included in his article: "Our lives are two/ If we can relish our past life anew." So, under the banner of Law and Public Service, I thought I would take this occasion to relish, with all of you, my own soon-to-be-past life as Chief Judge. What I will tell you about my life in the New York courts is, by the way, largely replicated in state courts across the nation. As Chief Judge, I actually have two roles. One-as Chief Judge of the state's high court-is an adjudicative role. I serve as a member of a great common law court, one of seven equals. The other-as Chief Judge of the State of New York-is an executive/ administrative role, head of our huge, sprawling Judicial Branch, with approximately 15,000 employees, 365 courthouses, and roughly four million filings annually. I spend about 80 percent of my time as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and the other 80 percent as Chief Judge of the State of New York.
Judith S. Kaye,
Shaping State Courts for the New Century: What Chief Judges Can Do,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol61/iss2/2