CHICAGO — An influential judge who abruptly retired from the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says friction with fellow judges prompted his decision.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported Wednesday that Richard Posner described clashing over what he saw as unfair treatment of people who represent themselves. The 78-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee emailed brief comments to the newspaper in his first public explanation of his departure.

Some 50 percent of appeals are filed by non-lawyers. But judges often don’t let them deliver arguments in court. Posner said they “deserve a better shake.”

Posner’s rulings made him a legend in legal circles. His blistering questioning during oral arguments also meant many professional lawyers dreaded him.

Posner announced his retirement Friday, effective the next day. He’d said previously he’d retire at 80.

Information from: Chicago Daily Law Bulletin ,

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