Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner Patricia Millett, who co-chairs the firm’s Supreme Court practice, is among the group of five Virginia residents recommended by the Virginia Bar Association to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
The voluntary bar association recommended Millett along with state Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Keenan, University of Virginia Law School professor James Ryan, and Hunton & Williams partner John Thomas, a former Virginia Supreme Court justice. The names were submitted this week to Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb. Other bar associations in Virginia are also assessing candidates.
Millett, who lives in Alexandria, has argued extensively in the Supreme Court as a partner with Akin Gump and while serving as an assistant to the Solicitor General from 1996 to 2007, when she went into private practice. At Akin Gump, Millett’s practice has an emphasis in administrative law, civil rights, and national security, among other areas.
The Virginia State Bar’s executive committee is scheduled to meet Friday to review applicants who want to serve on the 4th Circuit in Richmond. The four vacancies on the court—which takes appeals from the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia, and Maryland—have generated considerable attention in recent months as lawyers speculate about the court shifting to the left under the Obama administration.
Millett is among several D.C.-based lawyers who applied for consideration by the Virginia State Bar. Covington & Burling partner Michael Baxter; Holland & Knight senior counsel Sharon Eubanks; and Wiley Rein partner Richard Simpson also applied. All four live in Virginia, but only Simpson is a member of the Virginia Bar.
The VSB, the only mandatory bar association, does not make recommendations but instead determines whether a candidate is highly qualified, qualified, or not qualified. Edwards, Keenan, Ryan, and Thomas also submitted their names to the VSB for consideration.