D.C. Superior Court Judge Brook Hedge, who recently set a June 2011 trial date in the Robert Wone wrongful death civil suit, is scheduled to retire effective Dec. 3, 2010, the city's Judicial Nomination Commission said today.
The commission announced two other retirements. Judge Kaye Christian, who hears probate cases, and Judge Judith Retchin, presiding over a domestic violence docket, are also retiring this December. The JNC is seeking applications from qualified lawyers to fill the three vacancies. The commission recommends a group of candidates for review at the White House. Click here for details on submitting an application.
Hedge, who joined the bench in November 1992, is seeking senior status as a judge, meaning she would continue to hear cases if she is approved. It was not immediately known this afternoon, however, whether she would continue to preside over the Wone case after December.
Hedge has presided over two hearings in the Wone case since she picked it up in November 2008. The civil case was on hold for parallel criminal proceedings. In the criminal case, which ended in June in acquittal for the three defendants, the defense unsuccessfully lobbied against a change in judges.
It isn’t automatic that a judge will get senior status. That decision is left to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure. In reviewing an application for senior status, the commission seeks comment from members of the bar, litigants, former jurors and interested organizations. The commission makes a recommendation to the Superior Court chief judge about the judge’s fitness to continue serving. The chief judge determines whether the senior judge will serve.
Hedge was not immediately reached for comment this afternoon about her retirement plans.