Two lawyers who spent most of their careers on opposite sides of a courtroom testified today before a U.S. Senate committee in the hopes of serving together on the District of Columbia Superior Court bench.
Washington solo practitioner Michael O'Keefe, whose practice is mostly in criminal defense and family law, and Robert Okun, chief of the special proceedings division at the U.S. attorney's office in D.C., were nominated by the White House in March. At today's hearing, they pitched their extensive history practicing in Superior Court and experience working with a variety of litigants, including those without a lawyer.
Neither nominee faced criticism. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who chairs the subcommittee overseeing District of Columbia affairs, said they were "well-qualified" to serve. The nominees did face questions from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the subcommittee's ranking member, about their views on the city's gun laws, which have been the subject of legal challenges; both said they would abide by rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and District of Columbia Court of Appeals.