U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson

Being a federal judge can be so depressing.

Being a federal judge can be so depressing. Dressed in black, assaulted by endless hours of arcane testimony, watching overpaid attorneys strut and spit all day long in your courtroom. The beleaguered jurist could use someone to talk to. Why not author Ken Auletta or a reporter or two from The New York Times? Unwind over lunch. Spill your guts. So what if youre presiding over the pivotal antitrust case of the late 20th century and breaking every stricture of judicial conduct by blabbing with members of the press, on embargo, even as a landmark case is unfolding right in front of your bench. A lengthy, sloppy raspberry to you, T.J.! Your media pandering won you the withering scorn of an appellate court and stunned legal scholars. For a time, it even appeared your loose lips might sink your entire Microsoft ruling. Heres a clue: The trial wasnt about you, though you tried hard to convince us otherwise.