District of Columbia Court of Appeals
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is the highest court of the District of Columbia. Established in 1970, it is equivalent to a state supreme court, except that its authority is derived from the United States Congress rather than from the inherent sovereignty of the states. The court is located in the former District of Columbia City Hall building at Judiciary Square. The D.C. Court of Appeals should not be confused with the District's federal appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
As the court of last resort for the District of Columbia, the Court of Appeals is authorized to review all final orders, judgments, and specified interlocutory orders of the associate judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The court also has jurisdiction to review decisions of administrative agencies, boards, and commissions of the District government, as well as to answer questions of law presented by the Supreme Court of the United States, a United States court of appeals, or the highest appellate court of any state. As authorized by Congress, the court reviews proposed rules of the trial court and develops its own rules for proceedings.
Cases before the court are determined by randomly selected three-judge divisions, unless a hearing or rehearing before the court sitting en banc (with all judges present) is ordered. A hearing or rehearing before the court sitting en banc may be ordered by a majority of the judges in regular active service, generally only when consideration by the full court is necessary to maintain uniformity of its decisions, or when the case involves a question of exceptional importance. The en banc court consists of the nine judges of the court in regular active service, except that a retired judge may sit to rehear a case or controversy if he or she heard the original hearing. The Chief Judge may designate and assign temporarily one or more judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to serve on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals when required.
In the exercise of its inherent power over members of the legal profession, the court established the District of Columbia Bar and has the power to approve the rules governing attorney disciplinary proceedings. The court also reviews the rules of professional conduct and has established rules governing the admission of members of the District of Columbia Bar and the resolution of complaints concerning the unauthorized practice of law in the District of Columbia.
The court consists of a chief judge and eight associate judges. The court is assisted by the service of retired judges who have been recommended and approved as senior judges. Despite being the District's local appellate court, judges are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for 15-year terms.
As of May 2012, the current judges are:
- Eric T. Washington, Chief Judge
- Stephen H. Glickman, Associate Judge
- John R. Fisher, Associate Judge
- Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Associate Judge
- Phyllis D. Thompson, Associate Judge
- Kathryn A. Oberly, Associate Judge
- Corinne A. Beckwith, Associate Judge
- Catharine F. Easterly, Associate Judge
- Roy W. McLeese III, Associate Judge
The retired senior judges are Inez Smith Reid, Vanessa Ruiz, Anice M. Wagner, Theodore R. Newman, William C. Pryor, James A. Belson, Michael W. Farrell, Warren R. King, John M. Steadman, John A. Terry, Frank E. Schwelb and Frank Q. Nebeker.
- Superior Court of the District of Columbia
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- "Judicial Selection in the States: District of Columbia". American Judicature Society. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- District of Columbia Bar – Official website. (Menu provides links via "Courts" and "D.C. Courts" to: "D.C. Court of Appeals" and "D.C. Superior Court".)
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals – Official website.