The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission has a new executive director in Kim Whately, and she has announced that there are two new members of the commission.
The most recent addition is Woody Peterson, an appellate litigator at Dickstein Shapiro, who officially joined the commission on March 3. Peterson was appointed by President Barack Obama to a five-year term. He replaces Helgi Walker, a partner at Wiley Rein.
The other new addition to the commission isn’t all that new. Grace Speights, managing partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ Washington office, was appointed by the D.C. Bar in November, although there hadn’t been an official announcement until yesterday. She is serving a six-year term and replaced Brooksley Born, a retired partner at Arnold & Porter.
In addition to her role as D.C. managing partner, Speights serves as chair of Morgan Lewis’ complex employment litigation practice group and co-chair of the firm’s diversity committee.
Whately, who was hired as executive director in January, had previously been working as director of operations for the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency, which assesses, supervises and provides services for individuals arrested and prosecuted in Washington.
The Judicial Nomination Commission is charged with making recommendations to the president on filling vacancies on the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals. It is composed of seven members—two appointed by the mayor of Washington, two by the board of governors of the D.C. Bar, one by the D.C. Council, one by the president, and one judicial member appointed by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Other members of the JNC include its chairman, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court; Natalie Ludaway, a name partner at Leftwich & Ludaway; William Lucy, international secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; Karl Racine, managing partner of Venable; and Rev. Morris Shearin Sr. of the Israel Baptist Church.