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Posted Jan. 10, 2011

Judge John Roll LL.M. '90 Remembered

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Judge John Roll LL.M. '90

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Mary Wood

U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll, a 1990 alum of the Law School's Graduate Program for Judges, was among the victims in the fatal shooting this weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

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 by President George H. W. Bush. His thesis became the basis for a law review 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."

Any member of the Virginia Law community who wishes to share recollections of Judge Roll may send them to lawcomm@virginia.edu.

Related Coverage

Legal Times:
Judge Killed in Arizona Shooting Was Ardent Advocate for His Court

Wall Street Journal:
Victim Profile: John Roll, 63, Arizona Federal Judge

Washington Post:
John M. Roll: Arizona Shooting Victim, Federal Judge and Grandfather

New York Times:
A Judge Who Did Not Shy From Controversy