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Joshua Deahl Takes Oath as Newest D.C. Court of Appeals Judge

By Susannah Buell

January 14, 2020

Judge Joshua Deahl

On January 6, Joshua A. Deahl was sworn in as associate judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for a 15-year term. Deahl was nominated in 2017 following the retirement of Chief Judge Eric T. Washington. 

Formerly an attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service (PDS) for the District of Columbia, Deahl frequently appeared before the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of criminal defendants. Prior to his work at PDS, Deahl was counsel in the appellate litigation and Supreme Court practice at the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he represented some of America’s largest companies. 

Deahl began his law career after receiving his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an articles editor of its law review and the student commencement speaker. Following law school, he served as clerk to Judge Fortunato P. Benavides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Deahl went on to clerk for former Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor. He is the co-author of the textbook and practitioner’s guide Federal Rules of Evidence: Text and History.  

In his statement before a Senate committee considering his nomination last October, Deahl said, “I understand the D.C. Court of Appeals’ mission to provide justice for all and to apply the law evenhandedly, without favor or prejudice . . . You have my word that I will strive to achieve that mission.”