Roberto Lange

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Roberto Antonio Lange
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Assumed office
October 21, 2009
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Charles B. Kornmann
Personal details
Born Roberto Antonio Lange
(1963-04-22) April 22, 1963 (age 53)
Pamplona, Spain
Education University of South Dakota B.A.
Northwestern University School of Law J.D.

Roberto Antonio Lange (born April 22, 1963) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Pamplona, Spain, Lange was raised on a family farm near Madison, South Dakota.[1]

Lange earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota in 1985 where he graduated magna cum laude. He is listed as among the one hundred most famous alumni of the University of South Dakota.[2] He attended Northwestern University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1988, cum laude.[1] During his time at law school, Lange worked as an editor and boardmember for the Northwestern University Law Review.

Professional career[edit]

After graduating law school, Lange worked as a law clerk in 1988 and 1989 for United States District Judge Donald Porter, who was Chief Judge for the District of South Dakota at the time.[1]

Lange then joined the law firm Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith[3] in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1989. Lange became a partner in 1993, and later served as the head of the firm's litigation section. Lange specialized in complex commercial litigation, products liability and significant injury cases, class action and ERISA litigation. During his twenty years with the firm, he handled business disputes for individuals, small businesses, and nationally known clients.[4]

In 2005, Lange argued the case of Rhines v. Weber[5] in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. As court-appointed counsel for a death-row inmate, he presented the issue of whether a federal court may stay a section 2254 habeas corpus petition which included exhausted and unexhausted claims. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lange's client, by a 9-0 vote, reversed the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and allowed the district court to stay Rhines' petition.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Upon the recommendation of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson,[1] President Barack Obama nominated Lange to a vacant seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on July 8, 2009 that had been created by Judge Charles B. Kornmann taking senior status.[6] The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Judicial Nominations voted unanimously to rate Lange as "well qualified."

The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary reported Lange's nomination to the full Senate on October 1, 2009.[7] The full Senate confirmed Lange by a vote of 100-0 on October 21, 2009, and he received his commission the same day.

Judge Lange in February 2014 testified before the United States Sentencing Commission on implementation of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013.[8] Judge Lange's criminal case load is the highest among federal judges for Native American defendants and violent crime from reservations. Judge Lange served on the national Tribal Issues Advisory Group,[9] and testified before the Sentencing Commission in July 2016 concerning the report of the Tribal Issues Advisory Group.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Kornmann
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
2009–present
Incumbent