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After 'Unprecedented Number' Of Comments, DC Superior Court Has A New Chief Judge


Late Thursday, the seven-member DC Judicial Nomination Commission designated the new Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia: Hon. Robert Morin. He replaces Judge Lee Satterfield, who served two four-year terms as chief and was running for a third term. Also seeking the position were Hon. Judith Bartnoff, Hon. Erik Christian and Hon. Hiram Puig-Lugo.

The Commission received an "unprecedented number" of comments from the bench, bar and public in the run-up to its selection, totaling more than 700 evaluations and letters. Morin was recognized for his leadership, intellect, temperament, integrity, commitment and vision.

Morin has served on the DC Superior Court since 1996, when he was appointed by President Clinton. From '10-'15, he served as Deputy Presiding Judge and Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. A UMass and Catholic University Law School grad, his previous work includes defending criminal and death penalty cases at Fisher, Morin & Hansen, in Maryland's Office of the Public Defender, and for the Southern Center for Human Rights. Earlier, he was a supervisor for DC Law Students in Court and did civil and criminal litigation at Furey Doolan & Abell. He's also a longtime adjunct professor at Georgetown Law.

When Morin was appointed to a second term by the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure in '11, it said he received unstinting praise from attorneys who regularly appear before him and from the Court staff.

Not only were Bar members and Court staff "universally laudatory about his excellent temperament and demeanor, his respectful treatment of all litigants, lawyers, and Court personnel," but "the Commission did not hear a single critical comment about him." This time around, the Commission says that the comments received about Morin were "similarly laudatory."

Members of the Commission are Hon. Emmet Sullivan, LSC's Ron Flagg, the AFL-CIO's William Lucy, John McAvoy, Zelle's Woody Peterson, Rev. Morris Shearin of Israel Baptist Church, and Natalie Ludaway of the Office of the Attorney General. Its executive director is Katia Garrett.