Members of the Tennessee legal community have offered their thoughts and memories on the passing of Pamela Reeves, the former TBA President and Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Below are their comments. You can add your comments now. [Photo: Ruth White/USA TODAY Network, used with permission.]
"I first met and got to know Pam through various TBA and KBA events. She always was gracious with her time, spirit and her smile. She made everyone feel like a personal friend. My wife and I are better for knowing her. We'd be lucky to surround ourselves with others like her."
— Andy Roskind
"Pam Reeves was the best friend an attorney could have. She was the best friend ANYONE could have. Like so many others, I would not be where I am today without her friendship and guidance. She was a true pioneer in every sense. Her career is what everyone should aspire to. The Knoxville and Tennessee legal communities just lost one of their brightest lights."
— Hanson Tipton
"I am devastated by the news of Pam’s passing. Following her as the first female president of the TBA was my great honor, and I always knew that her many contributions to the Bench and Bar would never be surpassed. She was generous with her time, energies, and, when asked, her sound advice. She was one of the old friends I have stayed in contact with since I retired and moved to Austin, and I’ll miss her. My love and condolences to Charles and her wonderful children."
— Katie Edge
"I was a member of TBALL and I remember meeting Pam. She was so lively and intelligent. But, more important to me, she was genuine and caring. In that moment, it became a personal goal to become more like Pam. I still work toward that goal. Thank you Pam!"
— Shauna Billingsley
"Judge Reeves was one of the nicest and most compassionate people I’ve met. As a law student coming into Knoxville knowing absolutely no one, she took me in and allowed me to have a family away from home in a way that went so far beyond the legal profession. Her willingness to be a steady hand and a guiding force for young people every day I knew her is an inspiration, not just for me but for all the clerks and interns and students who got to learn from her over the years. Knoxville is a better place because of her, and her kindness and strength will be felt far, far into the future."
— Gordon Pera
"While several recollections of Judge Pam Reeves come to my mind, I will share two, briefly. First, to set the scene: it is Muscle Shoals, Alabama, October 2005. As a still relatively new-ish member of the TBA Board of Governors, I am honored out of my mind to be invited by then-TBA President Charles Swanson and two former Presidents, Larry Wilks and Pam Reeves, to join them on a "field trip" to a legendary Alabama steakhouse, Dale's. After meandering around Muscle Shoals and Florence, we finally arrived at Dale's (home of the famous steak seasoning/sauce), where Larry convinced me to join him in eating a massive steak known as an "El Dropo." This is not merely a steak: it is a vehicle. It is seemingly half the side of a cow. (Some people's offices are smaller than this steak.) Larry and I commenced to feast on this beast. If anyone else enjoyed the El Dropo maybe as much as Larry and I did, it was Charles and Pam, who were amused fully by Larry's and my agony after this rite of gluttony. We lost Larry nine years and ten days ago — and now, we have lost Pam. Two grand souls, servant-leaders in the truest sense, and fantastic lawyers who were equally and also wonderful souls and well-rounded human beings. I hope that Larry greeted the Judge in Heaven today with a shot of Woodford Reserve and a bear hug.
"Secondly, on my joining TVA, and even after she took the bench, Judge Reeves used to get some measure of delight in teasing me and reminding me often of her role as a UT law student on Professor Zygmunt Plater's legal team in representing the rights of the lowly snail darter against the power and majesty of "the" TVA. She even once sent me a snail darter-themed souvenir, which I kept in my TVA office for several years.
"Judge Pam Reeves was truly a leader, mentor, friend and shoulder to lean on for many of us, especially for those of us — both the laity and the lawyers — in hours of darkness. When she was selected by President Obama to her judgeship, I thought that she would be the quintessence of what our nation's citizens need in a federal judge. She never failed us. Then again, with a character, a sense of determination and grit, and as well a sense of compassion forged as well as hers was, one could never be in doubt. She leaves behind many of us who who miss her fiercely, including those of us who got to know her better through TBALL. She leaves us equally glad to have known her, and appreciative that here was a person who always did her utmost, for as long as she possible could, even in the face of cancer.
"In a time when we all need real, honest-to-God heroes, she is beyond doubt one of mine. Charles, Reedy and Amanda Swanson: you have and can count on the love and appreciation of all of those who know and cherish their work and life experiences with Pam, across Tennessee and beyond."
— Jack (Nick) McCall
"I am so very sorry to hear about Pam's passing. She was my Trial Practice professor at UT Law, took the time to reach out to me when she was traveling in west Tennessee on business to see how private practice was treating me. She always took the time to say hello at Bar conferences. Her "common touch" was one of the many things that made her so special. This is such a blow for the Bar. My sincere condolences to Pam's family. Tennessee has lost one of its greatest lawyers/jurists."
— Parke Morris
"Judge Reeves was one the first lawyers I met when I started practice in 1985. She was working with doctors at UT Medical Center to educate about the effects of aqueous eferol in children. RIP."
— David Lewis
"Such a lover of our profession. Impacted thousands of lives. Will miss her wonderful smile!!"
— Don Ash
"She was a "fine" lawyer, a lady always and a leader of the legal community for all of us. My deepest sympathies for Charles and the family. Pam's family shared a great person with us and for that the legal community will be forever grateful."
— Loren Plemmons
"My friendship with Pam goes back to our days at UT Law. Pam had a wide circle of friends and once a friend, you were always a friend. Pam was the same in law school as she was as a federal judge. She knew who she was and stayed true to herself. Pam was very accomplished but remained humble. She was always kind and quick to offer help to anyone. Pam and Charles hosted some wonderful UT VOL tailgate parties and cookouts on their deck. Charles, Amanda, Reedy and Pam’s sisters are in my prayers."
— Sharon Lee
"I first met Judge Reeves during one of my presentations at the TBA Leadership Law Opening Retreat. I was impressed the minute we met. I appreciated her kindness and the respect she gave to all around her. I am so sorry to hear of her passing; she will be missed by many. God bless her and her family."
— Deborah Varallo
"At the 6th Circuit Judicial Conference in Nashville Judge Reeves was directing the program on the “Snail Darter” case. She was so excited that I was able to get attorney Hank Hill to appear who was the plaintiff in the case. We all enjoyed reminiscing about that case. I recall when Judge Reeves first ascended to the bench, she handled a few cases in the Chattanooga Division. It was always an extreme pleasure to appear before her. However, my fondest memories were spending time with her and her husband at the judicial conferences. The EDTN has lost a tremendously talented and fair judge. Her sense of humor and wit will be missed. My sincere condolences to the family."
— Steven Moore
"Judge Reeves was a leader in the legal profession throughout her career. Her death is a tremendous loss to our legal community and the public that she served. My condolences to her loved ones."
— Lela Hollabaugh
"I served with Pam on the Board of the Tennessee Bar Foundation. She was smart, kind, thoughtful and a blessing to have on the Board. She deserved ever achievement she ever earned as well as those bestowed upon her in her honor and she leaves a true legacy. Heartfelt sympathy to her family."
— Mike Spitzer
"Judge Reeves was the first law student that I met before starting.. There is literally no one who is more universally respected and admired than her. Her passing is a terrible loss not only to the law, but also to each of us."
— Margaret Jane Powers
"Judge Reeves was kind enough to let me intern for her after my 1L year. Through her, I discovered a love of clerking and writing opinions. I owe my current career as a law clerk entirely to her guidance and mentorship. I will miss her greatly."
— Duncan Bryant
"Pam Reeves exhibited a degree of wisdom which was perhaps limited to a few and was surpassed by none. She knew how to exercise a quiet reflection on the matters which she confronted as a lawyer and as a District Judge. Her positions and decisions were initially questioned by only a few and the ones who did soon changed their opinions and recognized that she was absolutely correct. Pam was a person who could and almost always did speak with a soft yet powerful voice. I suggest that every lawyer and judge who did not have the opportunity to work with or observe her in action to take a moment to learn from someone who did how we all should conduct ourselves in the legal profession.
"Those of us who did know her have been better for the experience. I would be remiss if I did not mention her demonstrated love for her family. Almighty God will thoroughly enjoy sharing time with Pam Reeves. Thanks your honor for making us a better people."
— James Logan
"Judge Reeves was a mentor to me when I first started practicing law 30 years ago. I worked as an associate in her firm. I credit her and her firm with my development as an attorney. I have fond memories of late nights eating takeout while preparing for the next day of trials."
— Angela Ripper
"I interned for Judge Reeves in the Summer of 2019 following my first year of law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law. At that time, Judge Reeves saw something in me that I could not yet appreciate. She allowed me to be myself— which undoubtedly included a few mistakes and a misstatement here and there — and she never missed an opportunity to help me grow as a young attorney and as a person. I will never forget her stories about navigating through the legal field at a time when few women were around to serve as leaders, role models, and mentors. I am truly fortunate to have had Judge Reeves as a mentor and a role model. Judge Reeves showed me (and everyone else) what women are capable of achieving both in the legal field and as community leaders.
"Even after my time with the court ended, Judge Reeves made an active effort to continue to be involved in my life. She reached out to me when she knew I had an important event or a particularly difficult or nerve-racking task ahead of me. She also never missed an opportunity to congratulate me when things were going well, and offer her support when they were not. I can confidently say that I would not be the young lawyer I am today, or the active and involved citizen I am today, had it not been for Judge Reeves.
"I am truly heartbroken that the young female lawyers after me will not have the opportunity of knowing Judge Reeves. At a time when our country is in most need of compassionate and caring judges, I am extremely saddened that Judge Reeves will no longer sit in her big white chair in the historic courthouse in downtown Knoxville. I pray for her family, and I offer my deepest condolences."
— Kayla Rask
"Incredibly sad. Pam was a wonderful lawyer, person and friend. Dolores and I will miss her so much. Love to Charles and the kids."
— Dave Yoder
"Judge Reeves will long be remembered as a great attorney, mediator and finally Chief Judge of the Eastern District. She set a standard that can be aspired to by any lawyer and left us a legacy that will not be forgotten. A great friend and jurist, we have lost a giant in the profession and on the Federal Bench. Her husband and family are extended our sincerest condolences."
— Rick Powers
"I was honored to have had the opportunity to work with Pam on a number of meetings and projects while I was a member of the TBA staff. While I have many memories of her as a leader, lawyer and judge, the first image that comes to mind when I think of Pam is of her carrying my infant son around much of the evening in the hospitality suite following the 1994 fall Board of Governors and YLD meetings at the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, VA. Pam was my role model for how to be a mother and a professional."
— Betsy Hilt
"I only met Judge Reeves once, but she made a very strong impression. We met at an event she hosted about 7 years ago (I think maybe for the TBA? But I can't quite remember). I was a brand new lawyer and I attended the event with my friend who was also brand new to the profession. The two of us ended up talking to Judge Reeves for an extremely long time. We were probably the last people to leave. There was a Christmas cactus nearby and a small part of it fell off. She gave it to us and said to put it in water and it would grow into a full cactus. She said it could be Jessee's and my friendship cactus. Seven years later, I still have the cactus. I've re-potted it twice now. It always makes me think of her and how nice she was. I am very sorry to hear about her passing. She accomplished so much in the legal profession, but she was so kind and so down-to-earth."
— Alicia McMurray-Smith
"I am so sorry to hear of the passing of our good friend and associate Pam Reeves. I remember so well the first time I met Pam and she told me she was going to enter law school and be a lawyer. She did and as we all know she was a great lawyer and Judge and a role model for many young lawyers. Pam loved her family and friends and never met a stranger. Her family suffered a great loss with her passing,but have many precious memories of her and we all know she is in a better place now. We are all better for having Pam in our lives."
— Dan Nolan
"Pam was not only a selfless colleague who served as a model and mentor for me (along with countless others) and who welcomed me into the court family in 2014, she was a cherished friend. I will remember many things about Pam, but I often think of how she always shared warm hugs in greeting, evidencing her understanding of the power of human connection. Her legacy is great, and her light will not soon dim as her personal and professional impact on so many will last for generations. May Charles, Reedy, Amanda, and Pam's sisters and extended family find some measure of peace in the love being expressed by so many who were blessed to have known her."
— Suzanne Bauknight
"Rarely does someone come along like Pam. There are just no adequate words to describe how I feel about losing a friend from law school days. I have huge lump in my throat as I write this and just pray that God's everlasting peace surrounds Charles, Reedy and Amanda and the entire family. She will be missed!"
— Tom Dickenson
"Pam was one of the first lawyers I met when I moved here and started a practice 25 years ago. Through all that time, she has been a friend, a mentor, and an example of the highest professional standards. She was kind, friendly, and helpful to everyone, so there are many sad members of our legal community today who were proud to call her a friend. In addition to her personal qualities, she was a very skilled mediator who could bring together difficult parties to reach agreement and also a respected judge. I will miss her greatly and I send my heartfelt condolences to her family. I also send condolences to her Court family, as I know they will feel her absence keenly.
— Katherine Young
"Before Pam became a distinguished judge, she was a distinguished lawyer who represented many municipalities in mostly tort and civil rights cases. In addition to her vast knowledge, she brought competence and compassion in her advocacy for municipal causes. She combined a hard-nosed realism with respect to the law with humanity in her advice and assistance to municipal officials and city attorneys. She was kind and considerate and made others feel secure that she would do her best, which was always excellent. On behalf of the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association, I express our sincere condolences to her family. There are others who share in your pain and hope you can look forward to days when her memory will bring a smile that breaks through the sadness."
— Dennis Huffer
"I am very sorry about the passing of Judge Pamela Reeves. She was among the most honorable people that I have ever known. She was a most compassionate person.. She was a true asset to the legal community and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Charles and the family at this time.
— John Rosson
"A SOLIDER HAS COMPLETED HER EARTHLY DUTIES! The Community and World HAVE SUSTAINED A GREAT LOSS. However, Your Loss Is Temporary Yet This was her destination since she received Jesus into her heart. Thinking of you and praying that God Strengthens You And We Say BID "GOOD NIGHT" Comet Pam, MOM, Big Sister Friend."
— Gloria Tucker
"Pam will always be remembered by Marty and me, not only for her success in the legal profession but also for her perpetual smile. She was always pleasant and brought a lightness of being to every encounter. We are grateful for having known her."
— David Black
"I first met Judge Reeves over 30 years ago. I believe we were adversaries: a stellar lawyer, an outstanding mediator, and a great judge. I am better off to have known her and it is with great sadness that I mark her passing."
— William Bovender
"Pam took office as the first woman to serve as TBA President just 3 months after I assumed the role of TBA Executive Director. We had known each other through law school, young lawyer activities and other bar work. I am honored to have served with her.
"Her defining initiative was Jury Reform. The commission she appointed studied Tennessee's antiquated jury processes and advocated for improvements, most of which survive today. Many of those changes were targeted at improving the experience of jurors like juror questions , juror note taking and permitting jurors to have some say in scheduling their availability. Thus the changes reflected basic respect for humanity in the process, something she cared about."
— Allan Ramsaur
"Pam was a wonderful person and good human being in addition to her many professional accomplishments. And I remember when she was a spirited rafter on the Ocoee at a KBA event many, many years ago."
— Arnold Cohen
"Some people cast a large shadow. Everyone I know in the practice of law and many outside it have a story or they light up with a smile when Pam's name comes up. She made me feel like family from the first day Charles joined our firm decades ago and in every instance of interaction since. Soon after I met her, she knocked my father off of a jury panel proudly stating that he was the father of her husband's partner. I was a pretty green associate. He and I both were very proud that day. She was a giant of the bar and a truly great human being. I have been blessed to interact with the greats and Judge Reeves was and is high on my list."
— William Mynatt
"I and members of my firm held Pam in highest regard. She was so very accomplished as a practicing lawyer and certainly as a jurist. Pam and Charles have been close friends. Certainly a blow to the federal judiciary in East Tennessee and beyond. We will all miss her friendship ,her wit and her leadership from the bench. Rest In Peace."
— Tim Priest
"I was lucky to have Judge Reeves perform the marriage ceremony between me and my husband. She was so thoughtful and prepared a ceremony that felt personal to my husband and I. She was always so kind to me and was a good example of being an empathetic member of the legal community. She will be greatly missed."
— Jesse Harbison
"Pam Reeves was a lawyer's lawyer, a gifted mediator and a great federal judge. In every dealing had with her, she was polite, prepared, considerate and knew the case better than the parties and lawyers. Her passing is a tremendous loss to the legal community and the bench. Pam and her family are in my family's prayers. She will be missed."
— Bill Jakes
"We were classmates in law school. Well done good and faithful servant!
— Nancy Crawford
"Pam Reeves was one of my legal heroes. Not only did she whip me in court, she also helped and guided me in several aspects of my practice. Her mediation skills were wonderful, and particularly, I enjoyed the times that, when she was in private practice, I would call and ask her advice about many thorny legal problems. Indeed, just two weeks ago in a pre-trial conference Jimmie Miller and I had with Judge McDonough, I told Judge McDonough that it was a shame that I could not call her to seek advice about matters any longer, due to her status as a judge.
What a fantastic mother, spouse, and person, coming from the very humble background in which she grew up, not only breaking but massacring the "glass ceiling," and becoming the first female TBA President and the first female chief judge of the Eastern District. I shall miss Pam, and my heart goes out to Charlie and her family. Frank Santore, Greeneville."
— Francis Santore Jr.
"I was in the TBALL class of 2010 thanks to Pam Reeves and my good friend, Larry Wilks. I had been nominated for TBALL but was dilatory about submitting my paperwork and one afternoon I had a message from Pam. I called her back and we chatted a few minutes exchanging pleasantries. Then Pam got around to the reason she called, I hadn’t accepted my nomination for Leadership Law, saying I’m calling you to be sure you send in your TBALL paperwork because Larry and I want you to be there. I was really touched that she cared enough to call and give me that shove and gentle encouragement, so of course I did accept and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I privately thanked Pam and Larry (over a plate of catfish at Montgomery Bell Lodge) for including me, encouraging me and mentoring me. Love and prayers to the Swanson and Reeves family. Godspeed my friends, I hope you’re sharing a conversation over a plate of catfish.
— Tim Housholder
"As KBA President in 1999, Pam awarded me the KBA’s President Award for service to the bar. It was honor more reflective of her encouraging influence of a young(er) lawyer more so than my worthiness of it. I’ll always cherish that the connection to Pam. I lost my mom to cancer when she was but 74. Only time can heal, and it WILL!"
— David Draper
"Pam told us all how hard she would fight against this cancer, but we and she shared a solemn understanding that the probabilities were not good. And now we are left with an avalanche of bittersweet memories. She was such a sparkling, smart young student in her years at UT when I first knew her, deeply committed to environmental protection for the public and for nature -- working hard in our efforts to save an extraordinary river, valley, farms, farmers, and a very special little fish against a project that would eliminate far more than it would ever create. She traveled to Washington with us for the case in the Supreme Court and made a little museum to it in her judicial chambers. ...
"It is so rare to have a person so intelligent, so hard-working, so effective, so committed to justice -- while simultaneously being so warm, so human, so sparklingly full of humor, so loving. Her family and we all are suffering a great loss, one of the most marvelous people we will ever know."
— Zyg Plater
"Judge Reeves was a wonderful person, and a mentor to so many. As a member of the TBA Leadership Law class of 2018, I am grateful to Judge Reeves for helping to found the TBALL program and for giving so much of her time to the mentorship of young and diverse lawyers. She set such a high standard for what a leader in the Bar should be, while remaining so approachable and kind. As so many have said, Judge Reeves had a remarkable ability to connect with everyone she spoke with and make them feel special. When she spoke to our TBALL class and shared her tips for how to develop as a leader, I especially appreciated her advice to retain a sense of humor, and to be a positive person, even if you sometimes have to fake it! We all need that reminder sometimes! Every time I met Judge Reeves, she always showed her sense of humor and retained a positive outlook, even when facing the personal challenges of her illness. She is an inspiration to all of us, and a huge loss to our Tennessee legal community. We will miss her, and must do what we can to follow her example and honor her memory."
— Hannah Lowe
"Pam's career — beginning as a leader and scholar in law school — reflects her intellect, excellent judgment and integrity. However, while her resume is full of successes and "firsts" that does not begin to reflect the depth of her loving concern and compassion for others. From stressful law school days to challenging days on the bench and in leadership of the TBA, I never once saw her without a warm, glowing smile on her face. She was quick to ask about family and friends … and truly mean it. She was fiercely proud of Charlie and her children and always had a ready "proud mom" story. Her inner beauty shone through and her face literally radiated peace and joy. We are all blessed to know her, and she called us all to be our best selves."
— Deborah Taylor Tate
"God bless Pam and her family.May the peace of God which passes all understanding be with them.We have been friends for 43 years.She will be with us always."
— Albert Harb
"The intellect, work ethic and leadership skills of Judge Pam Reeves carried her far. She has been recognized with countless honors for her professional accomplishments. But those who knew her will remember her for her compassionate nature, her ability to connect with people and make them feel special, her boundless energy and her joy of life. She was a leader, mentor, role model and jurist, but most of all a friend who not just touched, but impacted, the lives of so many. She is greatly missed.
— Sarah Sheppeard
"The passing of Judge Reeves is a huge loss for the Tennessee bar. She was one of my TBALL class steering committee members. Through her leadership in that program, she made a huge impact on me and my bar involvement. I am sad that she will not be here to make this same impact on other Tennessee women lawyers. My thoughts and prayers go to her family, co-workers and close friends. She will be greatly missed."
— Aimee Luna
"Judge Reeves was a shiny ray of sunlight in an otherwise dreary, defeating, and pale void of federal court. She will be missed and the public is less because of her loss. Rest In Peace and my deepest sympathies go out to her family."
— Donna Bolton
"When I was a third year law student at UT, I worked in the legal clinic. I was assigned a paternity dispute. Judge Reeves, then Pam, was my opposing counsel. She "cleaned my clock" that day. I learned a lot that day including never assume anything in or from a court proceeding. I later served with Judge Reeves on the TBA Board of Governors and used her frequently as a mediator. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to appear before her while she was on the bench. She was a fine person and I admired her greatly. Pam represented and practiced the things that are great about our profession: civility, respect, kindness, humility, knowledge of the law, and professionalism. My sincere condolences to her family and close friends. She is a loss to her loved ones and our profession, and will be missed."
— Mark Dessauer
"Pam Reeves was without doubt one of the finest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Ever thoughtful and caring, Pam brought out the best in everyone around her. Her untimely passing is a great loss to us all."
— Charles Key
"From the time each of us knew Pam, we recognized her skills as a natural orator and advocate. She never seemed to have notes, but could so clearly and beautifully articulate ideas and principles we share to advance a winning argument. And share a laugh. (or wine and a great recipe, or gardening tips...)
"So it should not have been surprising when I saw Pam preside over an immigration/naturalization ceremony in Knoxville that I expected her usual magnificent presentation. I was blown away. As she relayed the story of her beginnings with the crowded arena, she was speaking to each one of the persons being naturalized that day. Her message was personal and passionate, uplifting and inspiring; surely it instilled in these newest citizens the promise and privilege that our country holds for each of us. (My husband and I were there as "family" for a friend who had finally achieved his citizenship, after fleeing his birth country, being held in federal prison after 9-11 simply because of his birthplace, and after over a decade of trying to become a citizen of his true country).
"Not surprising, she had enlisted assistance to have a voter registration booth adjacent to the arena so that these new citizens could register to vote immediately. Our Constitution, our rule of law, our Country and everything for which it stands, were an integral part of Pam. That is another one of the gifts that she has given to us. This is one memory of her that day that I hold dear—her clear voice and clear message-– in all the uncertainty and cacophony, her truth still holds steady and strong.
"Pam was honored for many of her “firsts”; honestly, she always seemed a bit surprised when someone recognized her for any particular accomplishment, although each was well-deserved. Her resume was modest one and one half pages—many of her accomplishments were not listed for reasons of space. That is because it was not her goal to achieve those firsts, but excelling is simply the way she is, and the way for which we will always cherish and remember her. We are indebted to her family for sharing her with us as bar family—we know it was time-consuming.
"We are supposed to be wordsmiths, and storytellers; that is our talent in our profession as legal problem solvers. Because of our love for her, and her beautiful family, her immutable ideals, and her very essence, this collective project, to honor someone we loved so dearly, is still painfully difficult. So very, very difficult."
— Marcy Eason
"It was the honor of a lifetime to clerk for Judge Reeves in 2017–2018 (and for my husband Tex to clerk for her the year after me!). I learned so much from her both in and out of the courtroom. One of my favorite memories is a small thing, but it speaks volumes. It was about halfway through my clerkship, in the spring, and I was sitting at my desk in the courthouse working on a draft summary judgment order. Judge stopped by my office and told me to take a break because I needed to see something. She didn't tell me where we were going or why; I just followed her. We walked three blocks down the street until we got to a magnificent tulip magnolia tree. “Look,” she pointed at the tree. “It’s bloomed.” And it had, overnight. We stared at the tree for a while and then went back to the office. It was a lovely moment, and one that I don't think would have happened with many other bosses or federal judges. Pamela Reeves was truly remarkable. What an honor to have known her.
— Rachel Simon