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Three Persons Recommended for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Vacancy Created by the Retirement of Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin

Thursday, April 12, 2012
JNC has forwarded to President Barack Obama the names of three lawyers for his consideration in selecting a nominee to fill a judicial vacancy on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (“Commission”) has forwarded to President Barack Obama the names of three lawyers for his consideration in selecting a nominee to fill a judicial vacancy on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The President has sixty (60) days to select a nominee to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin. The Commission recommends the following candidates to fill this vacancy:

Teresa Ann Howie is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Since June 2007, she has served as the Deputy Chief of the Superior Court Division, one of the largest divisions in the United States Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, Ms. Howie served as Chief of the Major Crimes Section, Chief of the Fourth District, Homicide/Major Crimes Section, and Deputy Chief of the General Felony Section in the United States Attorney’s Office. She has prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases in both the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in 1990, Ms. Howie was an associate at the law firm of Sidley & Austin in the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned her law degree from Howard University School of Law where she was a member of the Law Journal, and received a master’s degree from Antioch School of Law.

Kimberley Sherri Knowles is a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Since her appointment in 2010, she has served in the Domestic Violence Branch and in the Criminal Division presiding over misdemeanor trials and preliminary hearings. In 1997, Judge Knowles was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia; she prosecuted a wide variety of crimes and earned numerous special achievement awards. In 2004, she was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Sex Offense/Domestic Violence Section. She supervised a team of attorneys who prosecuted cases involving domestic violence, sexual abuse of adults and children, and child physical abuse, and held this position until her appointment as a Magistrate Judge. Judge Knowles has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University and earned her law degree from Howard University School of Law. Following law school, Judge Knowles served as a law clerk for the Honorable Eric T. Washington, then-Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Steven Michael Wellner is a Principal Administrative Law Judge for Unemployment Insurance Appeals for the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings. Prior to his appointment in May 2006, Judge Wellner was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focused on environmental counseling for corporations, trade associations, and clients involved in corporate transactions. In addition, Judge Wellner managed the pro bono legal services program for Kirkland & Ellis’s Washington, DC office and received the John Carroll Society Pro Bono Legal Service Award in 2004. He has served as a member of the board and treasurer of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He also served as a director and officer of the DC/MD/VA Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association, and was a member of the Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee. Judge Wellner has a Bachelor of Arts degree, with High Distinction, from the University of Virginia, and earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Questions concerning the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission should be directed to the Executive Director at (202) 879-0478 or via email at [email protected].