by Law Week

“I see, perhaps more than I would like, missed opportunities. Judges and lawyers have a tendency to approach the litigation process in a very ‘standard’ way, or in a very mechanical way … . We do those things because we always do those things.”

By Hannah Skewes


In both a professional and geographical sense, federal Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer ended up far from where he initially intended.

Shaffer attended Tulane Law School in New Orleans “with a very specific intent to practice maritime law” after growing up amid New England’s nautical culture, taking classes devoted to the practice and serving as editor in chief of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal.

“I have never practiced maritime law a day in my life,” Shaffer said.

From there, he said he fell into criminal law after joining the Navy in 1979, right after law school. He served in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps for two years, trying cases in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa while stationed in Naples, Italy.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the December 12, 2016 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.