D.C. BAR 2020 CONFERENCE – DISCOVER MORE AT https://www.dcbarconference.org

Washington Lawyer

Legal Beat: December 2013

From Washington Lawyer, December 2013

By Kathryn Alfisi and Thai Phi Le

Go Formal for Justice galaFirst Go Formal for Justice Gala Raises $55,000 for Bar Foundation
The D.C. Bar Foundation’s Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council’s first Go Formal for Justice gala on October 19 brought out more than 350 attendees and raised more than $55,000 for the foundation. 

 “We’re grateful to the Public Welfare Foundation for providing a seed grant to help launch this inaugural young lawyers event supporting D.C. legal services, and to all of our event sponsors,” said Bar Foundation Executive Director Katia Garrett.

The black-tie event, held at Mayer Brown LLP, featured a performance by two-time Battle of the Law Firm Bands winner Sutherland Comfort, a photo booth by Tim Coburn Photography, a silent auction, and a live auction of a platinum record of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. and lunch with Scandal inspiration Judy Smith.

“Funding for legal aid programs has taken a hard hit the past several years. Courtney [Weiner] and her Leadership Council colleagues are spotlighting the issue among their peers. This is the leadership we need to make sure that our community thrives in the years ahead,” said Marc Fleischaker, president of the foundation’s board of directors and chair emeritus at Arent Fox LLP.

Go Formal for Justice was one of the events held during National Pro Bono Week, along with the Go Casual for Justice fundraiser at 80 law firms that also benefited the foundation.

The D.C. Bar Foundation is the leading private funder of civil legal services in the District of Columbia. Created in 1977, the foundation administers grants to nonprofits that provide legal services to low-income District residents.—K.A.

Bar Seeks Nominees for 2014 Rosenberg, Marshall Awards
The D.C. Bar is calling for nominations for its 2014 Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and its 2014 Thurgood Marshall Award. Both awards will be presented at the Celebration of Leadership: The D.C. Bar Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting in the spring.

The Rosenberg Award is presented annually to a D.C. Bar member whose career exemplifies the highest order of public service. The Bar established the award in honor of Beatrice “Bea” Rosenberg, who dedicated 35 years of her career to government service and performed with distinction at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She also served as a member of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

In keeping with the exceptional accomplishments of Ms. Rosenberg, nominees should have demonstrated outstanding professional judgment throughout long-term government careers, worked intentionally to share their expertise as mentors to younger government lawyers, and devoted significant personal energies to public or community service. Nominees must be current or former employees of any local, state, or federal government agency.

The Bar established the Thurgood Marshall Award in 1993, which is presented biennially and alternates with the presentation of the William J. Brennan Jr. Award. Candidates for the Marshall Award must be members of the D.C. Bar who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the pursuit of equal justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.

Information for both awards can be found at www.dcbar.org.

Nominations for both the 2014 Rosenberg and Marshall awards may be submitted electronically by e-mail attachment to [email protected] or [email protected], respectively, or in a hard-copy format to Katherine A. Mazzaferri, Chief Executive Officer, District of Columbia Bar, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 24.

To inquire about the awards, please e-mail [email protected] or [email protected].

Former Bar President Higuchi Receives Make a Difference Award
Epstein Becker Green, P.C. celebrated Diversity Awareness Month by presenting its first ever Make a Difference Award to Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the board of directors of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, on October 3.

Higuchi previously worked in the firm’s health care and life sciences practice and served as president of the D.C. Bar from 2003 to 2004.

At the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Higuchi works to preserve the site and memories of Heart Mountain Relocation Center, one of the internment camps during World War II, so future generations will not forget the experiences of thousands of Japanese Americans illegally imprisoned at the camp.

“Her heartfelt commitment and dedication in bringing about awareness of such an important issue, which impacts not only Japanese Americans but all of us, in general, exemplifies what the award is all about,” said Carrie Valiant, chair of Epstein’s diversity and professional development committee.

Throughout the evening, guests gave remarks not only on Higuchi’s notable legal career, but also her devotion to honoring her parents’ lives through her work with the foundation. Among those who spoke at the event were Edward C. Clifton, associate justice at the Superior Court of Rhode Island; Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, associate judge at the D.C. Court of Appeals; and Stuart Gerson, a member at Epstein.

Higuchi’s parents met at the internment camp. As the story goes, her father grew up on a farm in San Jose, California, while her mother was a city girl from San Francisco. The two had classes together while at Heart Mountain, and they later recognized each other when they both attended the University of California, Berkeley.

“[When I was] a kid, when my mother used to speak of Heart Mountain, she used to make it sound like it was a fun place to be. It was a camp. And then she reminded me, ‘This is where I met dad.’ I used to have this vision that Heart Mountain was this place of love. Heart. Mountain,” said Higuchi in an ABC documentary shown at the event. In reality, it was where 14,000 people of Japanese descent were forcibly relocated during the war.

As her mother got older, she began quietly working to help create an interpretive center where people could reflect on that time of the nation’s history and honor the memory of former internees.

“My mother never talked about her involvement like she never talked about being in the camps,” said Higuchi in the documentary. “It was very much later that I realized that she was writing checks and sending money to Wyoming to dream of having something built there.” Higuchi’s mother died of pancreatic cancer before she could see her dream fulfilled. Higuchi stepped in, and the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center opened in August 2011.

In addition to honoring Higuchi’s work, the cocktail reception, held at the Fairmont Hotel, also kicked off Diversity Awareness Month and celebrated the collaboration between the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (NCREFC) and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

NCREFC’s annual meeting in June 2014 will be held at the site of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center and will mark the first time NCREFC has collaborated with another group for the event.—T.L.

Grants for Change
Grants for ChangeD.C. Bar Foundation Executive Director Katia Garrett takes part in the foundation’s fall reception celebrating its beneficiaries. The reception was held at Alston & Bird LLP and also featured remarks by Bar Foundation Advisory Committee member Dennis O. Garris, Bar Foundation Board President Marc L. Fleischaker, and Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council cochair Emily Seymour Costin.—K.A.

2014 D.C. Bar Elections Open for Nominations
The D.C. Bar is accepting nominations from members wishing to be candidates in the 2014 Bar elections. The deadline for receipt of nominations is January 6.

The D.C. Bar Nominations Committee is charged with nominating individuals for the positions of D.C. Bar president-elect, secretary, and treasurer; five members of the D.C. Bar’s Board of Governors; and three vacancies in the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates. All candidates must be active members of the D.C. Bar, and all candidates for ABA House positions must also be ABA members.

Individuals interested in being considered for any of these positions should submit their résumés and a cover letter stating the position for which they would like to be considered, as well as a description of work or volunteer experiences that provide relevant skills for the position(s) sought. Nominations that do not include a description of relevant experience will not be considered. Leadership experience with other D.C. Bar committees, voluntary bar associations, or the Bar’s sections is highly desirable.

Nomination materials may be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to the D.C. Bar Nominations Committee, Attention: Katherine A. Mazzaferri, Chief Executive Officer, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005-4210.

The D.C. Bar’s New Web Site Is Coming Soon
The D.C. Bar’s Web site is getting a new look! During this process, the Bar will continue to deliver newsworthy content to keep our members informed and engaged. The Bar’s Web site will remain available at www.dcbar.org. However, your bookmarked links may no longer work as we transition to our new Web site. In the meantime, stay connected through our social media channels—Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We appreciate your patience.

D.C. Bar Leadership Academy Seeks Applicants for 2014 Class
The D.C. Bar is now accepting applications from Bar members interested in participating in the D.C. Bar Leadership Academy in 2014. The Bar is looking for approximately 25 Bar members from diverse backgrounds, practice settings, and practice areas to join the academy.

Launched earlier this year, the Leadership Academy aims to identify, inspire, and educate Bar members to be leaders of the Bar and to encourage them to use their leadership skills in professional settings, local bar associations, and community organizations. Sixteen attorneys from the inaugural class graduated in April.

The 2014 class will be held over three full-day sessions at the D.C. Bar headquarters starting March 7. The program also includes a half-day session at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s Advice and Referral Clinic.

The academy’s curriculum includes an overview of the D.C. Bar, including its mission and strategic plan, and covers topics such as leadership styles, communication skills and styles, influence and persuasion, teamwork and consensus building, how to conduct effective meetings, problem solving and strategic thinking, civility and professionalism, and leadership skills in action.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory, and participants are expected to attend each session in its entirety.

The deadline to apply is December 6. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit the Bar’s Web site at www.dcbar.org and search “Leadership Academy.”

Bar Sections Announce Steering Committee Openings
The D.C. Bar sections are seeking members interested in steering committee positions for all of the Bar’s sections. Members wishing to be considered should submit a Candidate Interest Form and résumé to the Sections Office by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, February 6. All section members will be notified by e-mail or postal mail about the availability of Candidate Interest Forms, which can be found online by choosing the “Elections” option under the “Sections” tab at www.dcbar.org.

Nearly all steering committee vacancies are for three-year terms. Each section has two, three, or four available positions. A list of vacancies also is available online.

The sections’ nominating committees will review all Candidate Interest Forms to find the best qualified, diverse candidates. Two to three candidates will be nominated for each position. Previous leadership experience with voluntary bar associations or with the Bar’s sections is highly desirable.

The elections will take place in the spring of 2014, and the results will be announced in June. The winning candidates will assume their new steering committee roles on July 1.

Womble Carlyle Turns Office Into Gallery to Showcase Local Artists
Collective exhibitIn October Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP transformed its offices in Washington, D.C., into a temporary art gallery to showcase the works of emerging local artists, thanks to a partnership with Honfleur Gallery, a contemporary art space in Anacostia.

The art exhibit, titled “The Collective,” featured the works of 10 photographers, five sculptors, and one visual artist. Among the contributing artists was a local high school student whose photograph was submitted by Critical Exposure, a nonprofit that teaches the youth the power of photography.

Womble Carlyle moved into its D.C. office in 2011 and the new space served as the inspiration for the art collection.

“We ended up with this awesome space and I wanted to do something that would keep the enthusiasm and excitement about it alive,” said Pam Rothenberg, managing partner at the firm. Rothenberg said the collaboration was the firm’s way of supporting both the creative economy and the entrepreneurial community of the District.

After some crowdsourcing in the office about how best to continue to celebrate the space, the idea of using it as an art gallery won. The firm then turned to Duane Gautier, chief executive officer and president of Arch Development Corporation, to help make the idea a reality.   

“It was an extremely easy process; this was the first law firm we’ve curated an art show for and hopefully we’ll be doing more,” said Gautier, whose firm counts Honfleur as one of its projects.

The sculptures were done by members of the Washington Sculptors Group, which Honfleur had worked with previously. The photographs were chosen by jury process after a call for artists, both amateurs and professional, was put out.

“The Collective” ran from October 16 to 25, but plans are under way to stage another exhibit.—K.A.

Bar Evaluation Committee Invites Performance Feedback on Judges
The D.C. Bar Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) is conducting its 2013–2014 performance evaluation of judges who preside over the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court. (See full feature on page 18.)

Attorneys who have appeared before one or more of the judges listed below during the period between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013, will be asked to provide feedback. The survey is conducted online only, and all responses and comments will remain anonymous. Evaluations are due by 10 p.m. EST on January 12.

The following Court of Appeals judges will be evaluated this year: Corinne A. Beckwith, Catharine F. Easterly, Michael W. Farrell, John M. Ferren, Theodore R. Newman Jr., William C. Pryor, Frank E. Schwelb, and John A. Terry.

The following Superior Court judges will be evaluated this year: Mary Ellen Abrecht, John H. Bayly Jr., Leonard Braman, Harold L. Cushenberry Jr., Danya A. Dayson, Jennifer A. DiToro, Herbert B. Dixon Jr., Frederick D. Dorsey, Stephanie Duncan-Peters, Natalia Combs Greene, Brian Holeman, Craig Iscoe, William Jackson, John Ramsey Johnson, Ann O’Regan Keary, Peter A. Krauthamer, Judith Macalusco, John F. McCabe Jr., Robert E. Morin, John M. Mott, Michael L. Rankin, J. Michael Ryan, Fern Flanagan Saddler, Lee F. Satterfield, Frederick H. Weisberg, Ronald P. Wertheim, Yvonne Michelle Williams, Peter H. Wolf, and Joan Zeldon.

Judges are evaluated in their 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service. Additionally, senior judges are evaluated during the second year of their four-year terms, and once during their two-year terms.          

Each evaluated judge will receive a copy of his or her survey results, and the chief judge of each court will receive the results for all judges from his court. Evaluation results of senior judges and judges in their 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service also will be sent to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.

The JEC has retained Research USA, an independent vendor, to administer the survey and tabulate the final results. Attorneys who do not receive an invitation from Research USA, and believe they are eligible to participate, may request a link to the survey directly from Research USA at [email protected].—K.A. 

A Friend of Families
Family Law Judicial ReceptionThe D.C. Bar Family Law Section honored Jennifer A. DiToro, an associate judge at the Superior Court of the District of Columba, at its annual Family Law Judicial Reception on October 29 at Arnold & Porter LLP. Judge DiToro was recognized for her compassionate service to families and children. Pictured from left to right are Shelia Kadagathur, Christopher M. Locey, Judge DiToro, Sara Scott, Tanya M. Jones Bosier, and Allison Miles-Lee.—T.L.

D.C. Council Votes to Delay Election of Attorney General
On October 1 the Council of the District of Columbia voted 7–6 to delay the election of the District’s attorney general until 2018. District residents previously had voted in 2010 to change the position from a mayor-appointed role to an elected one, starting in 2014.

As the election drew closer, concerns grew among some D.C. officials about the transition and restructuring plans for the Office of the Attorney General. Among the questions raised were what duties would be assumed by the newly elected attorney general and what responsibilities would fall under the mayor’s authority. Plans were in place to transfer the chain of command from general counsel offices to agency directors. In addition, no qualified candidates have made official statements of interest to run for the position.

The move to delay the elections for four more years has been met with both criticism and support. Those in favor of postponing the elections believe additional time is needed to clarify the new role of the District’s top attorney.

Critics include D.C. solo practitioner Paul Zukerberg, who has filed a lawsuit against the D.C. Council and the D.C. Board of Elections, arguing that the council does not have the authority to delay the election after a majority of residents approved it in a 2010 referendum. Zukerberg, who is represented by Reed Smith LLP attorneys Gary Thompson and Marc Kaufman on a pro bono basis, seeks to keep the election on the April primary ballot. A preliminary injunction hearing took place on November 7 in U.S. District Court.

While the D.C. Council has voted to delay the election, the Board of Elections continues to prepare for one because the law has not been made final. In the District, laws require a 30-day congressional review period.

“The Council had the legal authority to postpone the election,” Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan said. “While we regret that it did so in light of the referendum vote, we are confident that the District, which has had an appointed chief legal officer since the 19th century, will be able to operate effectively with an appointed attorney general for another few years.”—T.L.

New Bar Members Must Complete Practice Course
New members of the District of Columbia Bar are reminded that they have 12 months from the date of admission to complete the required course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia practice offered by the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education Program.

D.C. Bar members who have been inactive, retired, or voluntarily resigned for five years or more also are required to complete the course if they are seeking to switch or be reinstated to active member status. In addition, members who have been suspended for five years or more for nonpayment of dues or late fees are required to take the course to be reinstated.

New members who do not complete the mandatory course requirement within 12 months of admission receive a noncompliance notice and a final 60-day window in which to comply. After that date, the Bar administratively suspends individuals who have not completed the course and forwards their names to the clerks of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and to the Office of Bar Counsel.

Suspensions become a permanent part of members’ records. To be reinstated, one must complete the course and pay a $50 fee.

The preregistration fee is $219; the onsite fee is $279. The final class for 2013 is December 10. Dates for 2014 are January 11, February 4, March 8, April 8, May 17, and June 10. Advanced registration is encouraged.

For more information or to register online, visit www.dcbar.org, keyword: “mandatory course.”

PART Event Looks at Role of Corporations in Fight for Access
Each year the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Partnership (PART) Luncheon serves as a celebration of the legal community’s efforts to promote pro bono work, as well as a reminder that thousands of District of Columbia residents continue to face significant access to justice issues. On October 23 the program examined new approaches to tackling the demand for pro bono legal services.

Held at Arnold & Porter LLP, the event recognized the more than 100 District law firms and government agencies that provide pro bono legal services through the PART network.

Over the past year, the partnership has worked to improve the delivery of civil legal services, said James Sandman, chair of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee and president of the Legal Services Corporation. The Pro Bono Committee appointed a working group to assess the needs of partnership members, reinstituted quarterly meetings, created an advisory group that holds planned partnership events, and launched a listserv to open the flow of communication and share ideas.

Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the D.C. Court of Appeals spoke about the court’s efforts to involve local law schools by hosting a roundtable with the deans to discuss how they can play a greater role in addressing the District’s access to justice gap. Currently, each school has agreed to appoint a representative to serve on a committee working with the D.C. Access to Justice Commission to optimize their collaborations.

“Despite our best efforts, however . . . our task remains a daunting one because we continue to see an increase in poverty, a growing disparity in income, and a real lack of affordable housing here in the District of Columbia,” Judge Washington said. More people continue to need help as they navigate the system, he added.

According to keynote speaker Ivan Fong, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel of 3M Company, one of the solutions may come from the corporate world. “I believe that we can reinvigorate and expand the pool of pro bono lawyers with the untapped resources of the corporations and government agencies in our community,” he said, focusing on the role of corporate in-house counsel. “Poverty, hunger, and the unmet needs for legal assistance exist in every county in America. Corporations can bring enormous resources to help improve the lives of those around them.”

Fong outlined what he believed were important aspects to a successful corporate pro bono program, including top-down leadership and a commitment from the general counsel, an active pro bono committee with a strong chair, efforts tackling systemic reform, and a recognition of outstanding pro bono work.

When audience members—many working in legal services—spoke about the struggle to get corporations involved in their mission, Fong noted that there may be initial resistance, but he believes that there is large interest at many businesses to help. Often, he said, it takes a little nudging, peer pressure, and continued visible commitment to provide businesses the tools to do the work.

“Despite the crisis in funding for civil legal aid and the deepening effect of the great recession and our slow recovery, I think there’s a real opportunity for corporate law departments and others to join the efforts to help respond to this crisis and to meet the real and growing gap in legal services today,” Fong said.—T.L.

Sidley Austin Makes Donation to Children’s Medical Center
Sidley Austin donationTo celebrate its 50th anniversary in the District of Columbia, Sidley Austin LLP donated $250,000 to the Children’s National Medical Center, which will spend the funds on its Children’s Ball and the D.C. Lawyers Care for Children Endowment Fund for Critical Care Medicine. 

“We view our support of the community and our charitable partners as not only a responsibility, but our moral obligation. This donation is our way of giving back and supporting Children’s National and all of the important and beneficial work the physicians and health care professionals there do,” managing partner Mark Hopson said.
Carter Phillips, chair of the firm’s executive committee, said that Sidley has a long tradition of giving back to communities.

“Over the past 50 years, Sidley has developed deep roots in D.C., and we are delighted to observe our 50th anniversary by supporting the incredible programs and services provided by Children’s National Medical Center,” he said.

Sidley is one of the city’s largest law firms with nearly 290 lawyers and other professionals. It has more than 1,700 lawyers working in 19 offices worldwide.—K.A.

Bar Renews Call for Attorney Participation in Judicial Survey
trendsFor years the D.C. Bar Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) has worked hard to increase attorney participation in its annual judicial survey, and this year will be no different. The main challenge for the JEC remains the same: how to get more attorneys involved in the process of evaluating judges in the District of Columbia to strengthen District’s merit system of placing judges on the bench.

This year’s survey will evaluate the performance of 37 judges—29 from the D.C. Superior Court and 8 from the D.C. Court of Appeals—who are in their 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service, as well as senior judges in the second year of their four-year terms and in the first year of their two-year terms.

The JEC is calling on attorneys who have appeared before one or more of the selected judges during the period between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013, to provide feedback.
To determine who will be e-mailed a survey, the JEC relies on the D.C. Courts’ clerk’s office to obtain data on attorneys who have appeared before the selected judges in the previous year. The online survey, which opened at the end of November, will be available until mid-January.

The chief judge of each court will receive the survey results for all judges from his court, and evaluations of judges seeking additional terms or senior status will be considered by the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure in its judicial evaluation process. The evaluated judges will receive copies of their survey results.

The JEC has exerted various efforts to draw more respondents following a decline in attorney response in previous survey cycles. In the 2011–2012 survey, for instance, less than 10 percent of attorneys who appeared before judges in the D.C. Superior Court and D.C. Court of Appeals provided feedback. The number slightly rose to 14.3 percent in the 2012–2013 survey.

While there is a sign of improvement, the JEC still would like to see a better response, and it has taken several steps to achieve that goal, from reaching out to “institutional litigants” to rewriting the survey language.

Better Data, Fair Process
Aside from formulating the survey questions, the JEC makes sure that the survey process is appropriate and fair. This year the committee added more than one comment section on the survey.

The JEC also has tapped James Whitehead of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and Mary Ann Snow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to help improve outreach.

“We thought that if we could get more institutional litigants [on the JEC] . . . we could ask them to [reach out to] their members and make sure they have the information they need and the encouragement they may need to respond to this very important survey,” said Snow, who chairs the committee.

In addition, the JEC contacted Betty Ballester, president of the D.C. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, in an effort to reach out to defense attorneys appointed under the Criminal Justice Act.

The JEC also reworked the survey itself, doing away with some of the language in the instructions in an attempt “to convey that the survey is not onerous to complete and hopefully encourage greater participation,” according to Snow.

Recognizing that time is precious to attorneys, the JEC has stressed that the survey is very user-friendly and should only take about 10 minutes for respondents to complete.

“They’re not going to be evaluating all 37 judges who are being evaluated. They may have only appeared before a handful, or maybe even just one judge,” said Snow.
The survey serves an important purpose: The District does not elect individuals to the bench but instead uses a merit system in selecting and reappointing judges, and the survey is part of that selection process.

“It’s very important to the judge, to our judicial community, and to the D.C. Bar members who practice before these judges. The better the data the JEC can obtain from the D.C. Bar membership who appear before these judges, the more fair the process will be to the individual judges and the judiciary as a whole,” said Snow.

Evaluating Performance and Fitness
The D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure also looks at the JEC surveys during its evaluation of judges seeking to serve an additional term or seeking to take senior status.

“These evaluations are an important part of the commission conducting its investigation. The fewer responses there are, the less valid the evaluations may be, particularly if there is someone who had a particularly difficult time with one of the judges,” said Snow.

Commissioners also conduct interviews with court personnel who have worked closely with the selected judges, with the appropriate chief judge, and with the judges themselves. Additionally, the commission solicits comments from the legal community and the general public on the qualifications of the judges being evaluated.

Judges who are determined to be “well qualified” are automatically appointed to a 15-year term. If a judge is determined to be “qualified,” the president of the United States has the ability to renominate the judge, subject to U.S. Senate approval. Judges who are determined to be “unqualified” are ineligible for reappointment or any future appointment to the D.C. Courts.

Finally, the commission writes an evaluation report on a judge’s performance and fitness for reappointment, and then sends the report to the president at least 60 days before the expiration of the judge’s term.

In the case of judges seeking senior status, the chief judge appoints the requesting judge if there is a favorable recommendation from the commission. A judge who does not receive a favorable recommendation is deemed ineligible for appointment as a senior judge.

Evaluations are due by 10 p.m. EST on January 12. All survey responses and comments will remain anonymous.—K.A.

Reach Kathryn Alfisi and Thai Phi Le at [email protected] or [email protected], respectively.