The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (the “Commission”) has re-designated the Honorable Eric T. Washington as Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for a third consecutive four-year term. His third term commences August 6, 2013.
In March 2013, the Commission issued a public notice that the four-year term of Chief Judge Washington would expire on August 5, 2013. All judges in regular, active service on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals were invited to apply for consideration for a four-year appointment as Chief Judge. Chief Judge Washington notified the Commission of his interest in being re-designated and submitted a Statement of Interest[pdf] in support of his application for re-designation. The Commission invited public comment on his performance as Chief Judge, and on June 5, 2013, held a wellattended public forum providing the citizens of the District of Columbia and other interested parties with an opportunity to question Chief Judge Washington and to learn more about his vision for the future of the Court of Appeals. The Commission has carefully considered public comments, the results of a background investigation, and Chief Judge Washington’s Statement of Interest, as well as his experience, qualifications, leadership abilities, administrative skills, abilities to promote confidence in the Court, his performance over the last four years, and his vision for the Court, including his plans for addressing the challenges facing the Court in the next four years.
Chief Judge Washington has been guided by the goals and strategies outlined in the Courts’ 2008—2012 Strategic Plan, Delivering Justice: Strategic Plan of the District of Columbia Courts, and will continue to be guided by the newly released Strategic Plan for 2013-2017, Open to All, Trusted by All, Justice for All[pdf]. There have been significant improvements to the Court’s operations under Chief Judge Washington’s leadership over the past four years. For example, the Court of Appeals has installed a new case management system. The new case management system provides real time electronic access to the court’s dockets, including briefs, transcripts, and other filings critical to the resolution of cases pending before the Court of Appeals. The Court has also worked to encourage institutional litigants to file dispositive motions early in the appellate process, and has utilized senior judges more aggressively in the Court’s motions practice, thus giving active judges more time to work on drafting opinions in calendared cases. Through these and other initiatives, the Court of Appeals has reduced the median time on appeal for cases from 505 days in 2007 to 352 days in 2012.
Also, under Chief Judge Washington’s leadership, the Court has strived for more outreach, transparency, and public education. Earlier this year the Court heard oral arguments at both the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law and the Howard University School of Law. The Court now makes oral arguments available through audio streaming on its website, and has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to better inform the public about new and ongoing court initiatives. Also, working through the Capital City Public Charter Schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Court has conducted outreach to middle school age children to teach them about the courts through the web based iCivics program developed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and through graphic novels developed by the National Center for State Courts.
Chief Judge Washington is the chair of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, which is the policy-making body of the District of Columbia courts. In 2011, he was elected President of the Conference of Chief Justices, a national organization that promotes the interests and effectiveness of state judicial systems by developing policies and educational programs designed to improve court operations.
Chief Judge Washington was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1995. In 1999, he joined the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and began his term as Chief Judge of the Court in 2005. Prior to joining the Court, Chief Judge Washington was a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells). He also served as Special Counsel to the District of Columbia Corporation Counsel (now the Office of the Attorney General) and, later, as Principal Deputy Corporation Counsel. Chief Judge Washington received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tufts University and earned his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. Chief Judge Washington is widely respected by colleagues, court staff, litigants, attorneys, public officials, and other members of the community, and he has been recognized for his leadership, intellect, temperament, integrity, commitment, and vision. The Commission is confident that the Court and the citizens of the District of Columbia will continue to be well-served by Chief Judge Washington’s extensive experience and exceptional abilities.
Pursuant to DC Code § 1-204.31(b), the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission designates the Chief Judges of the Superior Court and the Court of Appeals. Questions concerning the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission should be directed to the Executive Director at (202) 879-0478 or via email at [email protected].