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    August 5, 2008  
Meet the Next
Chief Judge


We were on hand last night as the two candidates who have stepped forward to fill the position of Chief Judge of the Superior Court spoke at a public Q-and-A session sponsored by the Council for Court Excellence, packing a 100-seat auditorium at UDC Law School. The next Chief fills the shoes (the robe?) of the Hon. Rufus King III, retiring after eight years as head of the Superior Court.


The contenders: Judge Anita Josey-Herring (Georgetown grad, former Deputy Director of the Public Defender Service, on the bench since 1997), and Judge Lee Satterfield (GWU grad, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C. and trial attorney with DoJ's Organized Crime section, on the bench since 1992). After brief opening statements, the candidates spent the better part of a hour responding to audience questions, and if anyone was hoping for fireworks (us? never), their cordiality disappointed. No major points of disagreement were exposed, and both agreed that staff morale is an issue that needs addressing. Judge Satterfield did note that Court is doing pretty well with its current budget, though he didn't want that "getting out of the room" and to Congress's ears. Oh, whoops.  


Here's the night's real audience. Judge Emmet Sullivan is chair of the six-member Judicial Nomination Commission, which will actually select a Chief Judge candidate to be sent on to the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Commission—which includes Brooksley Born of Arnold & Porter, Karl Racine of Venable, and Helgi Walker of Wiley Rein & Fielding—is inviting comments on both candidates, but you better hurry up. Comments need to be in by Friday, August 8th.


Marie Johns of L&L Consulting (and Chair of the Board of Directors at the Council of Court Excellence) played the moderator role. With her: CCE's Executive Director June Kress, who tells us in the fall, CCE is going to be coming out with a handbook designed to assist members of the media in understanding the court system. Hmm, June, are you trying to tell us something?

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Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email