Law:

  • NY Times: Nearly 96, Judge Milton Pollack keeps an iron grip on the gavel
      . . . REGARDING the judge’s retirement plans: what with Enron and Tyco and Internet-generated litigation (last summer he dismissed six suits filed by disgruntled eBay and Amazon.com stockholders against the Internet stock analyst Mary Meeker), this is no time for a securities law expert to recuse himself.

      “The greed and contentiousness and double-dealing, all the things you find repeated over and over again in the past two years, are part and parcel of what it was all about back in 1929, just with modern variants and staggering sums of money,” he says.

      “It’s been a great experience to watch everybody else making money while I’ve been making decisions,” he adds, his smile smug.

      He has a lifetime appointment to the bench and received senior status in 1983: he can retire at any time and not forfeit his paycheck. So why, at 95, does he battle his way downtown daily from 58th Street and Park Avenue? His only concession is to boycott the overcrowded Lexington Avenue subway during the morning rush, and to leave work by 5 p.m. rather than 6, the better to sit down to dinner with his second wife, Moselle, at 6:30. Bedtime is 10:30, unless there’s a Yankees cliffhanger in progress.

      Really, why not put down the gavel?

      “That to my mind is a fatal error,” the judge says. “I have seen it in people who have left here and gone fishing, or golfing, or cruising, whatever. They go off and entertain themselves, and then they expire. To me, the thing that makes you live longer is having an interest in your work and having someplace to go each day to do it. I’m in it for life.”

      Literally.