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Five Things to Know About First Circuit Judge Kermit Lipez

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Muppet-mania is consuming the nation in the most unexpected ways following the release of The Muppets. Needless to say, we have Kermit on the brain.

But Kermit the Frog isn’t the only noteworthy Kermit in America. Today we’re taking a look at the equally-important, and not-at-all-green, First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kermit Lipez.

Whether you're a long-time fan, or a new admirer, here are five things to know about Judge Lipez:

  1. An Education. Judge Lipez holds degrees from Haverford College (BA, '63), Yale Law (JD, '67), and the University of Virginia (LLB, '90).
  2. Maine Attraction. Judge Lipez, of South Portland, is the only judge from Maine on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. This year, he announced plans to take senior status, which will reduce his caseload, reports the Bangor Daily News.
  3. Judicial Relevance. Judge Lipez served on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court before President Bill Clinton nominated him to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997. He replaced Judge Conrad Cyr, also of Maine, on the court.
  4. Intrepid Reporter. Judge Lipez withdrew from school after his first week at Yale Law, and decided to become a reporter. He walked into The New York Times office without a referral, said, "I'd like to work here," and walked away with a job at the foreign affairs desk.
  5. First Amendment Fan. Even if you're not an avid First Circuit follower, you've probably heard about an opinion that Judge Kermit Lipez recently wrote in Glik v. Cunniffe, better known as the Boston cop-recording case. In the opinion, he noted "a citizen's right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment."

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