A View from the Bench – Episode 4 – Sentencing with (Ret.) Judge Nancy Gertner

February 28, 2024

Washington, D.C. partner George Hazel and Houston partner Gregg Costa, both former judges, are joined by the Hon. Nancy Gertner, who in 1994 was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, where she served until retiring in 2011 to teach at Harvard Law School. Judge Gertner is the author of several books, including her autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, and Incomplete Sentences, about the men she sentenced during her years as a federal judge. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, which she received in 2008—only the second woman to do so (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first). She also currently serves as an on-air legal commentator for MSNBC and CNN.

The three former judges engage in a far-ranging discussion about sentencing guidelines and the issue of sentencing considerations, including “uncharged conduct” and “acquitted conduct”; mitigating versus aggravating circumstances; age, trauma, addiction, adverse family circumstances, and other distinguishing characteristics; plea deals; and the importance of individual stories.

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Gregg Costa is co-chair of the firm’s Trials Practice Group.  Gregg offers clients a unique perspective as a former federal trial and appellate judge. His broad experience—having handled complex civil and criminal matters, at trial and on appeal, as advocate and judge—allows him to offer invaluable skills and strategic insights for both trials and investigations.

George Hazel is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of the firm’s Litigation and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups.  A former federal trial judge and criminal prosecutor, Mr. Hazel brings a broad range of trial experience, having presided over approximately 50 jury trials in federal court and handled 20 jury trials and 30 bench trials as an attorney in federal and state court.  Since his return to private practice, Lawdragon  has named him one of the “500 Leading Global Litigators” of 2024.