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Judicial Nomination Commission Invites Comments on Applicants for Pending Judicial Vacancies

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Members of the bench, bar, and public are hereby notified by the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (the “Commission”) that there are twenty-three (23) applicants for the pending vacancies on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia created by the retirements of the Honorable Carol Ann Dalton and the Honorable Wendell P. Gardner, Jr.  The Commission will submit the names of three applicants for each vacancy to the President of the United States for his consideration to nominate and appoint a judge.  The applicants are:

Hon. Errol R. Arthur
Mark D. Back
Dineen A. Baker
Fara T. Gold
Hon. Sharon E. Goodie
Michael Kelly Guss
Hon. Heide L. Herrmann
Hon. Jacqueline M. Ivey
Lee W. Jackson 
Alice E. Loughran
Jennifer Rose Morris
Jeffrey S. Nestler
Danny Lam Nguyen
Edward A. O’Connell
Caroline S. Platt
David Newell Richter
Angela S. Robinson
John F. Stanton
Emile C. Thompson
Hon. Sherry Trafford
John Cuong Truong
David Harding Wetmore
Melissa F. Zappala

The Commission invites comments by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2020, regarding the fitness of the above-listed applicants for a judicial position on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  Applicants can be evaluated with respect to eight categories:

  1. Judicial Temperament (e.g., ability to treat everyone with respect; willingness to listen with patience and courtesy; collegiality);
  2. Professional Skills and Abilities (e.g., experience; intellectual ability; analytical skills; knowledge of the law and its underlying principles; knowledge of the rules of procedure and evidence; ability and willingness to learn and develop professionally); 
  3. Ethics (e.g., integrity; impartiality; objectivity; sound judgment; restraint);
  4. Commitment to Diversity (e.g., treats people equally, fairly and with respect, regardless of gender, race, national origin, economic status, sexual orientation or any other factor; promotes inclusiveness of women and minorities);
  5. Leadership and Communication Skills (e.g., ability to communicate clearly and succinctly; ability to inspire respect and confidence; decisiveness);
  6. Efficiency and Organizational Skills (e.g., ability to work efficiently and under time constraints; ability to work constructively with others; ability to manage time); 
  7. Writing Skills (e.g., ability to write clearly, concisely and persuasively); and
  8. Community Service (e.g., pro bono activities; public service; volunteer activities; civic or charitable activities or memberships).

The Commission has created a web-based survey to facilitate the comment process, available at:  www.jnc.dc.gov/page/judicial-officer-applicants.  Comments may also be provided by letter, and should address the categories above.  Letters are to be sent to the Commission via mail (515 5th Street, NW, Suite 235, Washington, DC 20001), email ([email protected]), or fax ((202) 879-0755).  All comments must be received by no later than 5 pm on February 21, 2020.

All comments submitted to the Commission become part of an applicant’s confidential file for two years.  They will not be publicly released or provided to the applicant.  The content of any comments discussed with an applicant will not reveal the source of such comment, absent written consent by the individual providing the comment.

Any technical problems or questions should be directed to the Commission 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
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
PPC-Leftwich
1400 K Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005-2403
(202) 434-9124
[email protected]

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