The new general counsel for the North American operations of the Rilin Group, a China-based sea transportation and wind-power company, had previously been a court of claims judge in New York State. Robert Holdman resigned because he could not afford to remain in the $135,700 a year judicial position. This career shift was reported in Corp. Counsel, Nov. 2011 at 19.
General counsel have come from business roles, such as MetLife’s former top lawyer, but I could think of only one other person who moved from the bench to the benchmarkers (so to speak): a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, Michael Luttig, became the general counsel of Boeing. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any former general counsel who have left their position to grab the gavel.