Ben Shatz interviews Justice Goodwin Liu for the State Bar Litigation Section’s “California Litigation Review.”  [The link might be for Litigation Section members only.]  There’s plenty of biographical information and a discussion of his practice of hiring annual law clerks.

Justice Liu also talks about his 2006 Senate testimony against the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., testimony which contributed to the Senate’s later blocking of Justice Liu’s own nomination to the Ninth Circuit.  He says, “my testimony included some language that was unduly harsh, and that was a mistake.  I don’t know whether he was bothered by it or even knew about it.  But I did send him a personal apology, and he could not have been more gracious about it.”

Justice Liu brings up in the interview the Supreme Court’s two In re Richards opinions — the court granted a habeas corpus petition because of recanted expert testimony only after the Legislature amended a statute in sync with his dissent from the court’s initial decision denying relief.  Liu cites that as an example of how a justice “can have impact in this job” and he recounts how Richards himself drove an hour to a panel discussion so he could shake Liu’s hand.