Judge Lee Satterfield was sworn in today as chief judge of the D.C. Superior Court in front of a standing-room-only crowd.
The ceremony, held in the atrium of the Moultrie Courthouse, was attended by a number of the District’s top leaders, including Mayor Adrian Fenty, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, and D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Eric Washington, among others.
Outgoing chief judge Rufus King III administered the oath of office to Satterfield and received several standing ovations for his service to the District.
In his remarks to the audience, Gray said he was encouraged to have Satterfield, who was the first presiding judge of the Family Court, taking over as chief because some of the primary issues facing the court stem from broken families.
“Fatherhood or the absence of responsible fatherhood is oftentimes why people end up in this court. I feel very comfortable having Lee Satterfield preside over this court and these issues,” Gray says.
After he was sworn in, Satterfield took a moment to thank King, who will take senior status at the court, for making him a “battle tested” attorney when he was a young lawyer starting out in King’s courtroom.
“My kids told me not to do any rhyming, but I have to do this one. Chief Judge King was a trial machine,” Satterfield says.
Satterfield called his acknowledgement of King’s service to the District his first official act as chief judge.
Satterfield closed by saying that the primary focus of the court can be traced to a single question, “How can we better serve our community?”
“It is our duty to work together collectively to bring this court and its community where it should be,” Satterfield said, answering his question.