The Roanoke Times has a thoughtful piece on Justice Koontz, who will step down in January after serving on various levels of the Virginia judiciary since the late-Mad Men era.

The article includes an interview with Justice Koontz. Among the highlights:

  • Justice Koontz confirms what we’ve long suspected: the courts of the ’60s and ’70s presented a “more colorful, character-filled world,” with less extensive discovery and more “trial by ambush. You never were sure who was going to say what or what was going to happen. … It actually made it more fun. … I’m not sure we got better results, but it was a different way of getting to the result.”
  • The biggest changes that he has seen in the courts over his career are (1) the explosion of discovery, (2) a decline in the level of familiarity between lawyers and judges, and (3) an increase in the variety of things people will litigate over. Basically, everything has gone to hell since Roger Sterling lost the Lucky Strike account.
  • When asked if there were any cases he wished he could revisit, Justice Koontz said, “No, not really. There have probably been some that I got wrong, but not any that come to my mind.”

Finally, I don’t know if this will show up when you click on the article, but when I pulled up the article, it ended with a banner ad that reads (and I swear I am not making this up):

Be A Circuit Court Judge Be A Circuit Court Judge W/ An Online Degree. Get Info.

A fitting coda to Justice Koontz’s elegy on better days gone by?