Helen W. Nies

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Helen Wilson Nies (August 7, 1925 – August 7, 1996) was chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1990 to 1994.[1] President Jimmy Carter named Judge Nies to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA) in 1980, and she transferred to the Federal Circuit when that court succeeded in October 1982 to the jurisdiction of the CCPA.[2]

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 1945 and from University of Michigan Law School in 1948, where she was awarded Order of the Coif.[3] She moved to Washington that year to work at the Justice Department and she later was a counsel in the Office of Price Stabilization. Before her court appointment, she was a partner in a Washington D.C. law firm where she specialized in trademark law. She died on her 71st birthday of head injuries sustained in a bicycle accident at Henlopen Acres, Delaware.[2]


  1. ^ Helen W. Nies at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b "Helen W. Nies, 71, Former U.S. Judge". The New York Times. August 11, 1996. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  3. ^ *United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: A History: 1990–2002 / compiled by members of the Advisory Council to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in celebration of the court's twentieth anniversary. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 2004. pp. 157–160. LCCN 2004050209. 

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