With a drink in hand and tropical sunshine on his face, Justice Richard “Rick” Sims III came to a life-changing conclusion: It was time to retire.
“My wife and I just went to Hawaii on a vacation and I was lying by a swimming pool sipping a mai tai,” Sims recalled earlier today, “and it occurred to me that I liked this better than writing opinions.”
Just call it a Big Island brainstorm!
So after 27 years on Sacramento’s Third District Court of Appeal, three years on the Placer County trial court and 12 years as a lawyer, he’s calling it quits sometime between Oct. 31 and Jan. 31. It depends on how long it takes him to wrap up some rulings and other work.
And don’t expect the 66-year-old to do private judging or hang a shingle anytime soon. “I just need a break from the law for awhile,” he said.
That break might include a trip to the lake country of England — with his wife Linda Wallilhan — for a little hiking.
As for his favorite ruling: “Oh, I don’t know,” Sims said. “I think I’ve written over 5,000 opinions, so it’s pretty hard to zero in on one.”