The New York Times calls U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis '75 "calm judicial eye in storm over bail"

In a controversial decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis ’75 refused this week to revoke bail for Bernard Madoff, who has been charged with running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Known for his calm demeanor on the bench in “even the most contentious of matters,” The Times noted in an article that Judge Ellis explained his reasons for continuing Madoff’s bail in a 22-page opinion, making it clear that the question was not whether Madoff had been charged in “perhaps the largest Ponzi scheme ever” or whether his “alleged actions should result in his widespread disapprobation by the public.”

The only question was whether prosecutors had shown that he was a flight or security risk, and Judge Ellis concluded they did not.

“He’s thoughtful,” U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV, told The Times of his colleague. “He’s not somebody who shoots from the hip.”

Former law clerk Raymond Audain echoed that sentiment. “He’s very steady, impervious to the politics of the day, and takes his role as a dispassionate observer very seriously,” Audain told The Times.