Deanell Reece Tacha

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Deanell Tacha
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
In office
January 1, 2001 – January 24, 2008
Preceded by Stephanie Seymour
Succeeded by Robert Henry
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
In office
December 16, 1985 – January 27, 2011
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Nancy Moritz
Personal details
Born (1946-01-26) January 26, 1946 (age 71)
Goodland, Kansas, United States
Alma mater University of Kansas (B.A.)
University of Michigan (J.D.)
Website Official website

Deanell Reece Tacha (born January 26, 1946) is a retired United States federal judge who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She was the Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law from 2011-2016.

Born in Goodland, Kansas, Tacha received a B.A. from the University of Kansas in 1968 and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971. She was a White House Fellow, special assistant to the Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1971-72. She was in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Concordia, Kansas from 1973-74. She then served as Director of the Douglas County Legal Aid Clinic in Lawrence, Kansas until 1977. She was also on the faculty of the University of Kansas School of Law from 1974-85.

On October 31, 1985, Tacha was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a new seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit created by 98 Stat. 333. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 16, 1985, and received her commission the same day. She served as Chief Judge of the Circuit from 2001–08, and was succeeded by Robert Harlan Henry. She also served as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 1994-98.

In 2008, Tacha received the 26th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award from the American Judicature Society. Tacha took senior status on January 27, 2011. On February 10, 2011, Tacha was named Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. She retired from the bench on June 1, 2011, to begin her position as Dean of Pepperdine's law school.[1] She retired as Dean of Pepperdine University School of Law on December 31, 2016.[2] She serves as chair of the executive committee of the University of Kansas Endowment.[3]

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Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
1985–2011
Succeeded by
Nancy Moritz
Preceded by
Stephanie Seymour
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
2001–2008
Succeeded by
Robert Henry
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ken Starr
Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law
2011–present
Incumbent