President Barack Obama today nominated an International Trade Court judge for a slot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The nominee, Evan Wallach, who has served on the New York based trade court since 1995, has presided over more than 230 cases to verdict or judgment, according to the White House.
Wallach has sat by designation on federal trial and appellate courts around the country, including hearing more than 80 cases on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd and 9th Circuits. He was nominated to fill the seat created by the retirement of Judge Arthur Gajarsa.
The National Endowment for the Arts described Wallach as “one of the nation’s most foremost experts on war crimes and the law of war.” Wallach, who has taught the law of war at Brooklyn Law School and New York Law School, wrote about waterboarding in a 2007 piece in The Washington Post.
Wallach was not immediately reached for comment this evening.
The Arizona native enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1969 and served in the Vietnam War in the early 1970s as a terrain reconnaissance sergeant in the 8th Engineer Battalion, the White House said. Wallach graduated in 1976 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Wallach was a litigation associate after law school with the firm Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas. He became partner in 1982, according to his biography on the trade court’s web site. In private practice, Wallach was a general litigation partner who focused on media representation.
Samuel Lionel, a founder of the firm, called Wallach a “scholarly” lawyer who is “very level-headed” and fair. “Litigants who appear in front of him will be pleased,” Lionel said. “He’s a good choice.”
Later in the 1980s and 1990s, Wallach served a stint as general counsel and public policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and as an attorney-advisor in the Nevada Army National Guard. Wallach served as an attorney-advisor during the Persian Gulf War.
“Judge Wallach has distinguished himself throughout his legal career in both the public and private sectors,” Obama said in a statement Thursday evening. “He possesses a keen intellect and a commitment to fairness and integrity that will serve him well as a judge on the Federal Circuit.”
In April, the U.S. Senate confirmed Williams Mullen partner Jimmie Reyna for a vacancy on the Federal Circuit, a court of national jurisdiction whose docket is loaded with intellectual property cases, trade disputes, suits against the government and federal personnel matters.
Reyna was the head of the firm’s international trade and customs practice.
David H. Ingram contributed reporting.