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Coquillette Honored at SCOTUS as Rules ‘Protector’

Supreme Court Justices, colleagues, and family pay tribute to professor's 34 years as Reporter to the Standing Committee on Rules of the Judicial Conference.

Supreme Court Reception to Honor Dan Coquillette – Reception Hosted by Justice Gorsuch and Justice Roberts Dan Coquillette: Standing Committee Reporter 1985 to 2018  Photographs by Kevin Kennedy

Daniel Coquillette, J. Donald Monan, SJ, University Professor at Boston College, was honored this summer at a dinner at the US Supreme Court. The event recognized his 34 years as Reporter to the Standing Committee on Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. On January 1, Coquillette will be appointed Senior Advisor to the committee.

“The Rules Committees of the Federal Judiciary have a proud tradition of nonpartisan collegiality, dedicated to the rule of law. I have dedicated a great deal of my life to this mission, and will continue to do so as Senior Consultant,” said Coquillette.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted the collegial process in a citation letter to Coquillette presented at the event. “Over more than three decades, you have served as the protector of the Rules Committee process. That process ensures a non-partisan and transparent forum in which practitioners, academics, and jurists can work together, collegially, to improve the administration of justice,” Rosenstein wrote.

“As he kindly observed,” Coquillette continued, “I have been this process’s ‘protector.’ I have fought to protect this process through good times and bad. Never has its mission been more important to this great country than now. It has been a great honor for me to serve in this way, for which I am deeply indebted to the Chief Justice and the Judicial Conference of the United States.”

Among those delivering testimonials was Justice Neil Gorsuch, who worked with Coquillette when Justice Gorsuch was on the Standing Committee and as Chair of the Appellate Rules Committee. Others who spoke at the gathering were five chairs, past and present, of the Standing Committee; the Honorable David Campbell (US District Court, Arizona), the Honorable Jeffrey Sutton (US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit), the Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal (Chief Judge, US District Court, SD, Texas); Dean David F. Levi, Duke Law School; and the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica (Senior US Circuit Judge, Third Circuit).

Coquillette also received an award from the US Department of Justice for “outstanding service and commitment to the administration of justice” along with Rosenstein’s citation letter.

Other notable moments included a private meeting with the Chief Justice John Roberts and a special tour of the Court, for Coquillette’s  grandchildren, including the basketball court under the roof —”the highest court in the land”—led by Justice Gorsuch.

Dan’s family, including his wife Judith, attended the event, as did his editorial assistant, BC Law student Marija Tesla, and a host of friends and colleagues.