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Ninth Circuit Judge Robert Beezer Dead at 83

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Senior Judge Robert Beezer passed on Friday, March 30 at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. He was 83.

If you’re familiar with the Anna Nicole Smith bankruptcy case, the early aughts Napster litigation, or the “reasonable woman” standard in sexual harassment litigation, then you know a bit about Judge Beezer’s work. Judge Beezer was known both for his famous opinions and his sound appellate reasoning; he had one of the highest Supreme Court affirmation rates on the Ninth Circuit, according to The Seattle Times.

Ninth Circuit Judge Richard Tallman estimates that Judge Beezer participated in approximately 10,000 cases during his judicial career, and carried a case load of 200-300 cases annually after transitioning to senior status, according to The Seattle Times. Judge Tallman praised Beezer for setting "a very high bar for the practice of law, as a lawyer and a judge. He worked very hard at doing his best, and he expected that of everyone who appeared before him."

Judge Beezer graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and became an attorney in 1956. President Reagan appointed Beezer to the federal bench in 1984; he took senior status on the Ninth Circuit in 1996. He continued working, even as his eyesight failed, by using computer technology that translated written documents into audio files and also enlarged the size of text he entered as it appeared on an oversized monitor.

Judge Beezer's family held a private funeral on Wednesday. He will be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, near Seattle.

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