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Judicial Nomination Commission Invites Comments from the Bench, Bar and Public on Applicants for the Judicial Vacancy Created by the Retirement of Judge Kathryn A. Oberly

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Members of the bench, bar, and public are hereby notified by the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (the “Commission”) that there are 11 applicants for the pending vacancy on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Commission will submit the names of three applicants to the President of the United States for his consideration to nominate and appoint a judge. 

The applicants are:

Alan Robert Burch, Hon. Karen Aileen Howze, Deborah Judith Jeffrey, Hon. Craig Steven Iscoe, Todd Sunhwae Kim, Geoffrey Morris Klineberg, Hon. Neal Elliot Kravitz, Harold DeWitt Lester, Jr., Vijay Shanker, Robert James Spagnoletti and Paul Reinherz Quitman Wolfson

The Commission invites comments regarding the fitness of the above-listed applicants for a judicial position on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

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, 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 Applicant Evaluation Process to facilitate the opportunity to provide comments on the applicants’ qualifications. The applicant evaluation questions are also available in PDF format on the Commission’s website ( and can be printed, completed, and forwarded 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 November 22, 2013.

Comments submitted to the Commission are confidential and will not be released to the public or applicant.  Any comments discussed with an applicant will be discussed without revealing 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’s Executive Director at (202) 879-0478 or [email protected].

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

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

Natalie O. Ludaway, Esquire
Leftwich & Ludaway LLP
1400 K Street, NW
Washington, DC  20005
(202) 434-9103
[email protected]
c/o [email protected]

Woody N. Peterson, Esquire
Dickstein Shapiro LLP
1825 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC  20006
(202) 420-2212
[email protected]

Karl A. Racine, Esquire
Venable LLP
575 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20004
(202) 344-8322
[email protected]
c/o [email protected]

Rev. Morris L. Shearin, Sr.
Israel Baptist Church
1251 Saratoga Ave, NE
Washington, DC  20018
(202) 269-0288
[email protected]

Grace E. Speights, Esquire
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 739-5189
[email protected]