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JNC Recommends Candidates for DC Court of Appeals Vacancy

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (“Commission”) has recommended to the President the names of the three attorneys listed below for his consideration in selecting a nominee to fill the judicial vacancy on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals created by the expiration of the term of the Honorable Phyllis D. Thompson. The President has sixty (60) days to select a nominee to fill this vacancy.  

The Commission recommends the following candidates to fill Judge Thompson’s vacancy: 

Daniel J. Lenerz, Esq., is an appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he litigates criminal cases in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Lenerz is a member of his office’s hiring committee and its workplace equality working group and represents his office on the committee that drafts the Redbook jury instructions. Mr. Lenerz started in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a trial attorney in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Since 2016, Mr. Lenerz has taught Legal Rhetoric as an Adjunct Professor at the American University Washington College of Law.  

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Lenerz was an appellate attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he handled cases before the federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Lenerz also worked as Senior Counsel to the Criminal Division’s Assistant Attorney General. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lenerz focused on complex civil litigation as an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP and spent a year as a criminal trial attorney in the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office.   

Mr. Lenerz received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Pomona College and his Juris Doctor, Order of the Coif, from Stanford Law School. Mr. Lenerz served as a law clerk for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama; the Honorable Stephen F. Williams on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court of the United States.   

Vikram Swaruup, Esq., serves as Senior Counsel to the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. He advises the Attorney General and the Chief Deputy Attorney General on a range of legal matters, including complex issues of District law such as separation of powers and the legal sufficiency of Council-enacted legislation. Before joining the Attorney General’s senior leadership team, Mr. Swaruup established the office’s civil rights practice as its first attorney charged with investigating and prosecuting cases under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.  

Mr. Swaruup previously served as an appellate attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he briefed and argued civil rights cases in federal courts of appeals across the country. In a precedent-setting appeal, Mr. Swaruup successfully defended the constitutionality of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Mr. Swaruup also represented the United States in cases protecting voting rights under the National Voter Registration Act, desegregating schools after more than 50 years of litigation, and holding police accountable for misconduct. Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Swaruup worked in private practice as an associate at Susman Godfrey LLP, where he litigated complex commercial cases.

Mr. Swaruup received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctor, Order of the Coif, from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Lucy H. Koh on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

Alice Wang, Esq., is a Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she has worked as an appellate attorney since 2005. Ms. Wang has litigated more than 100 criminal appeals and postconviction matters in the District of Columbia, including several en banc cases in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In addition to briefing and arguing criminal appeals on behalf of indigent clients and as amicus curiae, she regularly conducts training for the local criminal defense bar and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  

A child of immigrants and a recipient of the Soros Fellowship for New Americans, Ms. Wang co-founded the Esperanza Education Fund, a college scholarship, and mentorship program for underprivileged immigrant youth in the District of Columbia area. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015.   

Ms. Wang earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Economics, summa cum laude, from The University of Texas at Austin. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as an Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Ms. Wang served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judith W. Rogers on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Please direct any questions to the Commission’s Executive Director at (202) 879-0478 or [email protected].  

Members of the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission

Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan, Chair
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
Chambers 4935-Annex
Washington, DC  20001
(202) 354-3260
[email protected]

Mr. William Lucy
1831 Sudbury Lane, NW
Washington, DC  20012
(301) 520-0576
[email protected]

John J. McAvoy, Esq.
3110 Brandywine Street, NW
Washington, DC  20008
(202) 966-8544
[email protected]

Addy R. Schmitt, Esq.
Miller & Chevalier, Chtd.
900 16th Street, NW
Black Lives Matter Plaza
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 626-5837
[email protected]

Benjamin F. Wilson, Esq.
Beveridge & Diamond, PC
1350 I St NW, #700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 789-6023
[email protected]

The Honorable Marie C. Johns
1400 K Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005-2403
(202) 434-9124
[email protected]

Professor Deborah Epstein
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Suite 334
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 662-9675
[email protected]