Richard Taranto, a name partner at the Washington firm Farr & Taranto, was nominated Thursday evening to a slot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Taranto, a specialist in intellectual property and patent law, has argued 19 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House said. Taranto, who has taught patent issues at Harvard Law School, was not immediately reached for comment late Thursday.
The Federal Circuit, based in Washington, is a court of national jurisdiction that hears a range of cases, including patent and trademark disputes, international trade matters and veteran claims cases. There is only one vacancy on the court.
“Richard Taranto is a lawyer of exceptional legal ability and great personal and professional integrity,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “I am pleased and honored to nominate him to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit, and I am confident that his intelligence, independence, judgment, and temperament will make him a welcome addition to that court.”
Taranto is a 1981 graduate of Yale Law School and a former clerk for Judge Robert Bork of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and, from 1983 to 1984, for then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court.
Taranto joined the Washington firm Onek, Klein & Farr in 1984. (Former Justice Department antitrust division leader and New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein started the firm.) Taranto left after a couple of years to join the DOJ’s Solicitor General’s Office. He returned to the firm, now known as Farr & Taranto, in 1989.
Since 2009, Taranto has served as a member of the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee for the United States Judicial Conference.
Obama's announcement follows the news that Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr appellate partner Edward DuMont has withdrawn his nomination for a spot on the Federal Circuit. DuMont, nominated last year, would have been the first openly gay federal appeals court judge.