Judicial Profile: Justice Virginia Long
Framing the law so it makes sense to judges
Unlike most justices, Virginia Long was well-steeped as a jurist by the time she ascended to the state's highest court. With five years on the trial bench and 15 in the Appellate Division, she saw how lofty statements of law and policy tended to play out in actual courtroom practice. So it is not surprising that many of her Supreme Court opinions, particularly in tort and family cases, are tailored to give judges not only the black-letter law but also instructions on how to apply it.