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Three Persons Recommended For Superior Court Vacancy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (“Commission”) has forwarded to President George W. Bush 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 the Honorable Rufus G. King, III. 

The Commission recommends the following three candidates to fill the vacancy:

Teresa A. Howie, age 50, 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 at the US Attorney’s Office. As Deputy Chief, she assists in the supervision of approximately 145 attorneys, as well as, administrative support personnel. Prior to that, Ms. Howie served as Chief of the Major Crimes Section, Chief of the Fourth District, Homicide/Major Crimes and Deputy Chief of the General Felony Section. She joined the US Attorney’s Office in 1990 and prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases in both DC Superior Court and District Court. She has substantial trial experience in homicide cases, trying cases in that section of the office for more than four years. Ms. Howie has received one of the Department of Justice’s highest awards - the Director’s Award - for her work in a case which involved the murder of a DC Police Officer. She has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association since 1989 and has served as co-chair of the Courts, Lawyers and Administration of Justice Committee and a member of the steering committee for the Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section. Before becoming an Assistant US Attorney, Ms. Howie was an associate at the law firm of Sidley & Austin, here in the District. Ms. Howie received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Master’s degree from Antioch School of Law and her JD from Howard University Law School where she was a member of the Law Journal.

Stuart Nash, age 43, is a career official at the United States Department of Justice, currently serving as both Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program – a multi-agency task force charged with investigating, prosecuting, and dismantling the world’s largest drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Nash served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, he spent three years in private practice at the law firm of Williams & Connolly in the District of Columbia. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1991 and his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1987. Following law school, Mr. Nash clerked for the Honorable Sam J. Ervin, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and for the Honorable T.S. Ellis, US District Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. 
Maria (Maribeth) Raffinan, age 38, is a supervising attorney in the trial division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she has represented indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses since 1999 and has tried more than thirty cases. She continues to litigate serious felony cases in the DC Superior Court while supervising trial attorneys. Ms. Raffinan co-chaired the 2006 Deborah T. Creek Criminal Practice Institute - an annual training for criminal practitioners in DC - and is a member of the Superior Court's Drug Court Committee. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the Public Defender Service, Ms. Raffinan worked at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia. She is a member of the Philippine American Bar Association. Ms. Raffinan received her law degree from the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in 1995 and her undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy from Boston College in 1992.