Thanks to ever vigilant reader Charles Bahne, we know that the ruling in the Legal Sea Foods decision today was issued by none other than Judge Nathaniel Gorton.
But talk about the scales of justice: Turns out the connection between the judge and seafood goes deeper than just being randomly assigned a case involving a chain of seafood restaurants - Gorton is, in fact, related to the family that gave us Gorton's Seafood.
In a story last year that detailed the judge's bona fides (in a story about that college-admissions scandal that played out in large part in Gorton's Moakley Courthouse courtroom, USA Today wrote about Gorton and his brother Slade, a former US Senator from Washington state:
The brothers hail from the family that started the Slade Gorton Seafood Company in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1928. Their ancestors’ history in the seafood industry goes back to 1849.
The two brothers were born in Illinois, rather than anywhere near the docks of Gloucester, but Slade the senator could have been named for Slade the seafood supplier. Seafood Slade Gorton had a couple of sons, one named, like the judge, Nathaniel, according to a history of the early Gorton's company (which says Gloucester Slade started the concern after losing his job as a superintendent in a Rockport cotton mill after it burned down).
Judge Gorton, now 82, came back east to attend Dartmouth and then Columbia Law. After a stint in the Navy, he came to Boston to work as a lawyer. In 1992, President Bush appointed him as a judge in US District Court in Boston, where he has been ever since.