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JNC Recommends Three Candidates for DC Superior Court Vacancy

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (“Commission”) has forwarded to President Barack Obama the names of the three lawyers below for his consideration in selecting nominees to fill the judicial vacancy on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Superior Court”) created by the retirement of the Hon. Jeannette J. Clark. The President has sixty (60) days to select a nominee to fill this vacancy.

Catherine Sheehan Bruno, Esq. is an attorney with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where, since 2009, her positions have included Special Assistant to the General Counsel, Acting Chief of Staff to the General Counsel, and Special Assistant in the Office of Integrity and Compliance.  From 1996 to 2002, Ms. Bruno prosecuted cases as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including domestic violence, arson, wire fraud, and gun trafficking conspiracies. From 2002 to 2009, Ms. Bruno served as an Investigative Counsel and a Deputy Assistant Inspector General with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General.  In that capacity, she investigated allegations of waste, fraud and abuse within the DOJ. A life-long District of Columbia resident, Ms. Bruno received a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with honors, from Wellesley College in 1991. As a sophomore in college, Ms. Bruno was selected to represent the District of Columbia as a Harry S. Truman scholar. In 1995, Ms. Bruno graduated with highest honors from Boston College Law School, where she held the position of editor on the Boston College Law Review.  Following law school, Ms. Bruno served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Gilbert Merritt, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

Hon. Sharon E. Goodie is a Principal Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), to which she was appointed in 2005. She currently hears matters regarding public benefits as well as homeless shelter, nursing home, and mental group home issues.  Prior to her appointment, Judge Goodie worked for seven years as a prosecutor for the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, prosecuting criminal juvenile delinquency and civil child abuse and neglect cases, and worked for three years in private practice, handling insurance coverage, medical malpractice, telecommunications, and corporate compliance matters. She serves as a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, and is a Program Director for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA). Judge Goodie received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Brandeis University in 1984, and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. She served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Harriett R. Taylor at the District of Columbia Superior Court from 1994-1995.

Melissa Felder Zappala, Esq. is a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where she focuses on complex commercial litigation. Ms. Zappala joined Boies Schiller in 2005, where she has remained, with the exception of a judicial clerkship from 2007 to 2008 with the Honorable Henry H. Kennedy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Zappala’s cases include securities, antitrust, and class actions in both federal and state courts. She was recognized by the National Law Journal in 2015 as one of the District of Columbia area’s top 40 lawyers under 40, and has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and has led several pro bono matters throughout her career. Ms. Zappala received her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Yale University in 2002 and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She also received a Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2001 for her commitment to public service. Ms. Zappala earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2005, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar. 

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