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Three Persons Recommended for Superior Court Vacancy Created by the Retirement of Judge Odessa F. Vincent

Thursday, June 3, 2010
The President has sixty (60) days to select a nominee to fill the vacancy created by her retirement

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 the Honorable Odessa F. Vincent.

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

Joseph E. Beshouri is a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Since his appointment in 2009, he has served in the Civil Division, presiding concurrently over the non-jury civil trial calendar and the tax-lien calendar. Judge Beshouri was a criminal defense practitioner for 23 years until his appointment as a Magistrate Judge. He represented individuals charged in complex litigation in Superior Court, in Maryland’s District and Circuit courts, and in the United Stated District Courts for both the District of Columbia and Maryland. For several years, Judge Beshouri served as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at the George Washington Law Center. Judge Beshouri has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of South Florida and earned his law degree from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.

Teresa A. 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, 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.

Maria Elizabeth (Maribeth) Raffinan is a supervising attorney in the Trial Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia where she has represented indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses since 1999. Prior to joining the Public Defender Services, Ms. Raffinan worked in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia. Ms. Raffinan co-chaired the 2007 Deborah T. Creek Criminal Practice Institute—an annual training program for criminal practitioners in the District of Columbia and has served as 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. Ms. Raffinan has a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Boston College and earned her law degree from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.

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].