D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin Sworn In as Chief Judge

By Tracy Schorn

October 11, 2016

Outgoing Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield and new D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert E. Morin celebrate Satterfield's service at swearing in ceremony, Friday, October 7, 2016. Photo by Aaron Clamage Photography.On October 7 Judge Robert E. Morin was sworn in at the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse as the D.C. Superior Court's seventh chief judge. The ceremony also included an emotional farewell to the outgoing Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield, who led the court for two terms.

In June, Morin was chosen for the chief judge position by the seven-member D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission.

Morin was introduced by District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, and was sworn in by Satterfield. The ceremony then turned to tributes to Satterfield and his 35 years of service from D.C. Councilmembers Phil Mendelson and Kenyan McDuffie, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ronald Jessamy of the Washington Bar Association, and D.C. Bar President Annamaria Steward.

Among the honors bestowed on Satterfield was a D.C. Council resolution declaring October 8 as Chief Judge Satterfield Day. Bowser thanked Satterfield for his compassion in working with juveniles in the justice system, and Steward commended him and the other judges for their commitment to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center.

Satterfield then gave a personal account of his triumph over his significant health issues during his two terms, including suffering a stroke while in the courthouse and then later undergoing a heart transplant. Satterfield said those were things that happened to him, but were "not my story." His story, he said, is that of fighting against the odds, including a bout with bone cancer when he was 17. Satterfield thanked his family and the legal community, especially Judge Frederick Weisberg, who filled in for him while he underwent a heart transplant.

Satterfield said he looks forward to new challenges ahead, especially in serving as an advocate for organ donation. As a man fond of slogans, he told the audience his motto now is, "A new heart, a new start."