The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission today announced the trio of finalists it will recommend to the White House for an upcoming opening on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr pro bono counsel Christopher Herrling is joined on the list by two superior court magistrate judges, Milton Lee, Jr. and William Nooter. The three are vying for the seat Judge Jerry Byrd is set to leave vacant when he retires later this year. The president will have 60 days from when he receives the list to make his pick.
Here are highlights of their biographies as provided by the commission:
Herrling joined Wilmer in 1997, and administers the firm’s pro bono program. That’s the same pro bono program which won habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo Bay’s detainees last year by carrying Boumediene v. Bush to the Supreme Court. Before joining Wilmer, he was executive director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.
Lee was appointed as a superior court magistrate in 1997, and is assigned to family court. He presides over the court’s “Fathering Court Initiative,” which helps reunite parents who have been recently released from prison with their children. He is a former public defender and associate professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia, where he remains an adjunct.
Nooter became a magistrate in 2000 and has served mostly on the family court. Before joining the court, he was an attorney with Jordan Coyne & Savits, where he tried civil cases. He is also a 7-year-veteran of the former Office of the Corporation Counsel.