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JNC Recommends Candidates for DC Superior Court Vacancy

Monday, November 23, 2020

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (“Commission”) has recommended to the President the names of the three attorneys below for his consideration in selecting a nominee to fill the judicial vacancy on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Superior Court”) created by the retirement of the Honorable Robert E. Morin. The President has sixty (60) days to select a nominee to fill this vacancy.  

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

Hon. Rupa Ranga Puttagunta is an Administrative Judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission, where she resolves appeals taken from the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. She also assists with the Commission’s rulemaking function, including issuing, amending, and rescinding regulations.

Judge Puttagunta served on the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) panels of the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals. She represented hundreds of indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal and served on D.C. Superior Court’s CJA Panel Advisory Committee. Judge Puttagunta was also an associate at a firm where she practiced family law. She provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services by representing victims of domestic violence and volunteering at D.C. Superior Court’s Family Court Self-Help Center and the Attorney Negotiator Program. In 2012, Judge Puttagunta was recognized on the D.C. Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. In 2013, she was selected to serve on the D.C. Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council. Judge Puttagunta remains active in the community and serves on the Domestic Violence Resource Project’s board and the Law School Outreach Committee of the National Association of Women Judges.  

Judge Puttagunta earned her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College and Juris Doctor from The Ohio State Moritz College of Law, where she graduated as a Public Service Fellow with the Dean’s Special Recognition. Following law school, Judge Puttagunta clerked for the Honorable William M. Jackson on the D.C. Superior Court and the Senior Judges on the D.C. Court of Appeals. 

David N. Richter, Esq., is a solo practitioner specializing in defending indigent individuals charged with crimes in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. During his ten years of practice, primarily as a Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel member, Mr. Richter has served as lead counsel in numerous criminal cases. Mr. Richter has represented juveniles charged in delinquency matters and adults charged in misdemeanors, domestic violence, and serious felony cases. Mr. Richter also served on the board of the District of Columbia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association’s Committee on the CJA Panel. In that capacity, he assisted in selecting and training new attorneys to take criminal case appointments on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  

Mr. Richter received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College and his Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University. Following law school, Mr. Richter clerked for the Honorable Robert E. Morin and the Honorable Geoffrey M. Alprin of the D.C. Superior Court. 

Stanley E. Woodward, Jr., Esq. has more than a decade of legal experience. As co-founder of Brand Woodward, Attorneys at Law, Mr. Woodward counsels companies and individuals alike responding to government and internal investigations as well as civil litigation. Mr. Woodward’s experience includes domestic and international clients’ representation of global compliance issues, including matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Mr. Woodward’s representations span a wide range of federal executive branch departments, commissions, and agencies. Mr. Woodward also has extensive experience representing companies in sensitive high-stakes employment litigation. In 2018, Mr. Woodward was awarded the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award for his representation of tenants in the District facing eviction. 

Mr. Woodward earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from the American University and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where he now serves as an Adjunct Professor and President of their Alumni Council. Following law school, Mr. Woodward clerked for the Honorable Vanessa Ruiz of the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Honorable Joan Zeldon of the D.C. Superior Court. 

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]