Richard C. Tallman

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Richard Tallman
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
May 25, 2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Betty Fletcher
Personal details
Born Richard Charles Tallman[1]
(1953-03-03) March 3, 1953 (age 63)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Santa Clara University
Northwestern University

Richard Charles Tallman (born March 3, 1953) is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Oakland, California, Tallman received his Bachelor's degree in 1975 from the University of Santa Clara and his Juris Doctor in 1978 from Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as the executive director of the law review.

Professional career[edit]

After serving as a law clerk for Judge Morell E. Sharp of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Tallman worked as a trial lawyer for the Department of Justice and as an assistant United States Attorney in Seattle, Washington. From 1983 until his appointment to the Ninth Circuit in 2000, Tallman was an attorney in private practice in Seattle, including as chairman of the white-collar criminal defense practice group at the former Bogle and Gates law firm between 1990 and 1999. After that firm closed on March 31, 1999, Tallman formed the firm Tallman & Severin.[2]

Among Tallman's higher-profile clients in private practice was representing the Seattle Mariners in legal disputes over scheduling rights in the Kingdome.[2] Tallman also handled medical malpractice and defense procurement cases.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Despite being a Republican, Tallman was nominated by President Bill Clinton to his current seat on the Ninth Circuit on October 20, 1999 and was confirmed by a voice vote of the U.S. Senate on May 24, 2000.[3][4] Tallman was nominated to fill the seat vacated by longtime Ninth Circuit judge Betty Binns Fletcher, who took senior status in 1998. Clinton's previous nominee to that seat, conservative Washington State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Durham, had been nominated in January 1999 as part of a bipartisan deal brokered by Washington's senators at the time, Slade Gorton and Patty Murray. However, Durham withdrew her nomination to the seat just four months later because of her husband's terminal heart condition.[5] Tallman then was nominated after he was one of three potential nominees that Gorton recommended to the White House.[2]

Tallman is on the record as supporting a split of the Ninth Circuit due to the backlog of cases.

On January 27, 2014, Tallman was appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts to a six-year term on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which considers appeals under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He succeeded Morris S. Arnold, whose term expired in August 2013.

Notable Opinions[edit]

Bull v. City and County of San Francisco, August 22, 2008. Tallman dissented on the issue of whether San Francisco jails could strip search those detained for minor, non-violent offenses, contending that they should be able to do so due to security needs: "When people are dying as a result of our errant jurisprudence, it is time to correct the course of our law."


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Betty Fletcher
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit