PALM BEACH, Fla., March 5, 2012 — Judge Kimba M. Wood of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York is not only clever and charming, but also someone who stands up for what she believes.
She demonstrated all those facts when she granted a November 2010 request for an attorney appearing before her to potentially take a leave of absence from the case to celebrate the birth of his grandchild…if it were a son.
Judge Wood’s response gently reminded the attorney to adore and appreciate a granddaughter as much as a grandson.
On November 17, 2010, Bennett M. Epstein, Esq. filed a motion related to a case in front of Judge Wood. Mr. Epstein noted that the impending birth of his first grandchild, due on December 3rd, could interfere with the trial.
He therefore requested a day off during the trial to celebrate.
However, Mr. Epstein’s filing included far more information than just requesting a date off. The amusing Mr. Epstein wrote the following:
“Should the child be a girl, not much will happen in the way of public celebration. Some may even be disappointed, but will do their best to conceal this by saying, “as long as it’s a healthy baby.”
My wife will run to Philly immediately, but I will probably be able wait until the next weekend. There will be happiness, though muted, and this application will be mooted as well.
“However, should the baby be a boy, then hoo hah!⁴ Hordes of friends and family will arrive from around the globe and descend on Philadelphia for the joyous celebration mandated by the halacha⁵ to take place during daylight hours on the eighth day, known as the bris⁶. The eighth day after December 3rd could be right in the middle of the trial. My presence at the bris is not strictly commanded, although my absence will never be forgotten by those that matter.”
Judge Wood, in her compassionate wisdom, agreed to give the attorney a day off for the birth of his grandchild. However, with even greater insight, she added conditions. Judge Wood wrote the following:
Mr. Epstein will be permitted to attend the bris, in the joyous event that a son is born. But the Court would like to balance the scales. If a daughter is born, there will be a public celebration in Court, with readings from poetry celebrating girls and women.
Judge Wood is the kind of Judge we should have deciding our most important cases. Because good legal rulings take more than legal knowledge, they take world knowledge.
You can see the original filing – as well as other fascinating written documents – at www.lettersofnote.com
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