The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (the “Commission”) has redesignated the Honorable Lee F. Satterfield as Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for a second four-year term. His second term begins October 1, 2012.
In April 2012, the Commission issued a public notice that the four-year term of Chief Judge Satterfield would expire on September 30, 2012. All judges in regular, active service on the Superior Court were invited to apply for consideration for a four-year appointment as Chief Judge. Chief Judge Satterfield notified the Commission of his interest in being redesignated and submitted a Statement of Interest and Appendices in support of his application for redesignation. The Commission invited public comment on his performance as Chief Judge, and on July 10, 2012, held a well-attended public forum providing the citizens of the District of Columbia and other interested parties with an opportunity to pose questions to Chief Judge Satterfield and to learn more about his vision for the future of the Superior Court. The Commission carefully considered public comments, the results of a background investigation, and Chief Judge Satterfield’s Statement of Interest, 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 plans for addressing the challenges facing the Court in the next four years.
There have been significant improvements to the Court’s operations under Chief Judge Satterfield’s leadership over the past four years. For example, services to juvenile offenders to promote public safety have been improved with the opening of two new “juvenile drop-in centers.” The centers provide an alternative to detention for court-involved youth through probation supervision, recreation, therapeutic, and life skills services. The Court also has expanded its Community Court case management approach to all misdemeanor cases outside the East of the River community to reduce reoffending by individuals accused of crimes, to hold offenders accountable to the community where the alleged crime occurred, to provide more services to adult offenders, and to expand outreach efforts to the community. In addition, to improve public confidence in the Court and make jury service for city residents easier, a new jury management system was implemented. The new system allows court staff to check-in citizens and select jury panels quickly. This has significantly increased the efficiency of the jury selection process.
Chief Judge Satterfield is a native of Washington, DC and has served the citizens of the District of Columbia for much of his legal career. After receiving his law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1983, Judge Satterfield served as a law clerk for the Honorable Paul R. Webber, III, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Following his clerkship, Chief Judge Satterfield served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the appellate, grand jury, misdemeanor, and felony sections of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. From 1988 to 1991, Judge Satterfield was in private practice, before returning to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1992, Chief Judge Satterfield was nominated by President George H. W. Bush and appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 2007, after completing his first fifteen-year term as an Associate Judge, Chief Judge Satterfield was reappointed to a second term by the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.
Chief Judge Satterfield is a member of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, which is the policy-making body of the District of Columbia courts. He was a member of the Superior Court’s Strategic Planning Leadership Council, the Superior Court Rules Committee, the Judicial Education Committee, and the Committee on the Selection and Tenure of Magistrate Judges. Since 1991, Chief Judge Satterfield has been an adjunct professor at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law, where he taught Criminal Trial Practice and Advanced Criminal Procedure. Chief Judge Satterfield is widely respected by colleagues, court staff, litigants, attorneys, public officials, and other members of the community, and he has been recognized and lauded 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 Satterfield’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 Commission’s Executive Director at (202) 879-0478 or [email protected].