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Dedicated to the Craft:

John M. Roll Remembered

By Rob Seal

U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll LL.M. 90 E-mail  E-mail   print  Print
U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll LL.M. ’90, an alumnus of the Law School's Graduate Program for Judges, was among the 18 shooting victims in the January rampage in Tucson, Ariz., where a gunman intended to assassinate a U.S. representative. Six were killed at the shooting.

Friends and colleagues recall Judge Roll as a fair-minded jurist and advocate for his court.

"Judge Roll was among the many distinguished judges who came to our Graduate Program for Judges to earn a master's degree from the University of Virginia. Like all the participants in this program, he took his own vacation time to attend classes at the Law School for two summers, and then he spent countless hours writing a master's thesis while he managed a full caseload as a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals," said Professor George Rutherglen, who taught the judges in the Class of 1990 and later became director of the Judges Program.

Roll was subsequently appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona by President George H. W. Bush. His thesis became the basis for an article, "Merit Selection of Judges: The Arizona Experience," which appeared in the Arizona State Law Journal.

"'Merit' sums up the career of Judge Roll, whose dedication to the craft of judging was evident in everything he did throughout his judicial career," said Rutherglen. "His participation in our program is typical and the program itself benefited from his presence, as did everyone who came to know him here at our law school — the faculty, his classmates, and other graduates of the program. With the rest of the nation, those of us associated with the University of Virginia mourn his death and the loss that it represents — for the judicial system, for the legal profession and for our country."