Updated June 16.
An assistant U.S. attorney, a public defender and a Hogan Lovells partner have been tapped as nominees to fill Judge Noël Kramer's seat on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission announced the three nominees – Alan Burch, Catharine Easterly and Christopher Handman – this afternoon. Their names are being sent to the White House for consideration.
Burch is an assistant appellate counsel in the U.S. attorney’s civil division, where he defends claims against federal agencies and officials. Before joining the U.S. attorney’s office in 2003, Burch was a senior attorney at the Treasury Department, where he led administrative investigations and enforcement actions against national banks and their officers and directors for violations of banking laws.
Easterly has been with the D.C. Public Defender Service since 2003, and current serves in the special litigation division. Prior to joining PDS, Easterly was an associate with New York’s Stillman & Friedman, now Stillman, Friedman & Schechtman, and worked as an appellate public defender at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and, later, the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City.
Handman is a partner in Hogan Lovells’ Supreme Court and appellate practice. He previously clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and D.C. Circuit Judge Patricia Wald. Handman was recently listed on the National Law Journal’s 2011 Appellate Hot List for successfully arguing before the 3rd Circuit on behalf of a client’s $1 billion natural gas facility expansion project.
The three nominees were chosen from a group of 13 applicants, including two recent candidates for another appellate vacancy, D.C. Solicitor General Todd Kim and D.C. Appleseed Executive Director Walter Smith Jr. Burch declined to comment, and Easterly and Handman could not immediately be reached this afternoon.
Kramer retired May 1. The full announcement on the nominees can be found here (PDF).
An earlier version of the story listed Todd Kim and Walter Smith Jr. as past nominees for an appellate vacancy. They are still candidates until the position is filled.