WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — President Barack Obama made six federal district court nominations and three federal circuit court nominations Thursday, just one week after making six federal district selections.
Christopher Reid Cooper was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Cooper, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP since February 2012, also served as a special assistant to the deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994-96.
Daniel D. Crabtree was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Crabtree, a partner at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Kansas City, has represented businesses and government entities in complex civil litigation in federal and state courts. He also acts as the general counsel for the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club.
M. Douglas Harpool was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Harpool, who has been a shareholder at Baird Lightner Millsap & Harpool PC in Springfield since 2006, also served as a member of the state’s House of Representatives from 1983-92.
Sheryl H. Lipman was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Lipman has been university counsel for the University of Memphis since 2002, after joining the university as senior attorney in 1999. Previously, she practiced civil litigation while working at Burch Porter & Johnson PLLC from 1997-99 and served as vice president of comprehensive services at the Memphis Race Relations & Diversity Institute from 1996-97.
Gerald Austin McHugh Jr. and Edward G. Smith were nominated to two seats on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
McHugh is a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Raynes McCarty. Prior to joining Raynes McCarty in 2004, he was a shareholder for 23 years with the civil litigation law firm of Litvin Blumberg Matusow & Young.
Meanwhile, Smith has served on the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Northampton County since 2002, handling both civil and criminal matters. He also is a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, holding the rank of captain, and currently serves as commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Naval Justice School.
From 1990 until his election to the bench, he was a partner at DeRaymond & Smith in Easton, Pa.
“I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench,” Obama said in a statement Thursday. “They will be distinguished public servants and valuable additions to the United States District Court.”
Obama also nominated Nancy L. Moritz, Michelle T. Friedland and John B. Owens for seats on the Ninth and Tenth circuits.
Mortiz, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, has served as a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court since 2011.
She also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Kansas, handling civil litigation matters until she was elected to serve as the appellate coordinator for the district in 2000. In that capacity, Moritz supervised all civil and criminal appeals and personally argued about 25 appeals before the Tenth Circuit.
Friedland, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is a litigation partner at Munger Tolles & Olson LLP. She has extensive litigation experience at the state and federal trial court and appellate levels, including litigating before the U.S. Supreme Court.
She also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia Law School, teaching a course on constitutional issues in higher education.
Owens, nominated to the Ninth Circuit and a litigation partner at Munger Tolles & Olson like Friedland, worked for more than a decade as a federal prosecutor in California.
His current practice focuses on complex business and Supreme Court litigation.
If confirmed, Owens would fill the longest-standing judicial vacancy in the nation — which arose in 2004 when Judge Stephen Trott took senior status.
“Michelle T. Friedland, Justice Nancy L. Moritz and John B. Owens will bring an unwavering commitment to fairness and judicial integrity to the federal bench,” Obama said.
“Their impressive legal careers are testaments to the kind of thoughtful and diligent judges they will be on the Ninth and Tenth circuits. I am honored to nominate them today.”
Currently, there are 87 vacancies on federal benches: 70 at district courts and 17 on appeals courts.
Last week, Obama nominated six to federal districts in Arkansas, California and Michigan.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.