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President Obama Nominates Eight to Serve on the United States District Courts

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, President Obama nominated Judge Michael P. Boggs, Tanya S. Chutkan, Mark Howard Cohen, Judge M. Hannah Lauck, Leigh Martin May, Judge Eleanor Ross, Judge Leo T. Sorokin, and Judge James Alan Soto to serve on the United States District Courts.

“I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench,” President Obama said.  “They will be distinguished public servants and valuable additions to the United States District Courts.”

Judge Michael P. Boggs:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Judge Michael P. Boggs has been a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia since January 2012.  Previously, Judge Boggs served as a Superior Court Judge in the Waycross Judicial Circuit of the First Judicial Administrative District of Georgia from 2004 to 2012.  While serving as a Superior Court Judge, he established and presided over the court’s felony drug court program.  Prior to joining the bench, Judge Boggs was a sole practitioner from 1998 to 2005 and worked in private practice in various law firms from 1990 to 1998.  In 2000, he was elected to serve as a Democratic State Representative to Georgia’s General Assembly, a position he held until 2004.  Judge Boggs received his J.D. in 1990 from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law and his B.A. in 1985 from Georgia Southern College.

Tanya S. Chutkan:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Tanya S. Chutkan is currently a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where her practice focuses on complex civil litigation and specifically antitrust class action cases.  Prior to joining the firm in 2002, Chutkan was a trial attorney and supervisor at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 2002.  From 1990 to 1991, she worked at the law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Rogovin, Huge & Schiller, and from 1987 to 1990, she worked at Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells).  Chutkan received her J.D. in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A. in 1983 from George Washington University.

Mark Howard Cohen:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Mark Howard Cohen is a litigation partner at the Atlanta law firm of Troutman Sanders LLP, where he has worked since 1999 and has been a partner since 2001.  Cohen previously worked for Governor Zell Miller, serving as Executive Secretary from 1998 to 1999 and as Executive Counsel from 1995 to 1998.  In 1995, he was appointed Chief State Administrative Law Judge and managed the newly-created Office of State Administrative Hearings in Georgia.  From 1981 to 1994, Cohen worked in the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, where he represented state agencies in federal and state litigation.  He began his legal career as a law clerk to Magistrate Judge Joel M. Feldman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  Cohen received his J.D. in 1979 from Emory University School of Law and his B.A. magna cum laude in 1976 from Emory University.

Judge M. Hannah Lauck:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Judge M. Hannah Lauck has been a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia since 2005.  Previously, she worked as a Supervising Attorney at Genworth Financial, Inc. from 2004 to 2005.  From 1994 to 2004, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Judge Lauck worked in private practice at Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky from 1992 to 1994 and began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge James R. Spencer of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 1991 to 1992.  She received her J.D. in 1991 from Yale Law School and her B.A. magna cum laude in 1986 from Wellesley College.    

Leigh Martin May:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Leigh Martin May is a partner at the Atlanta office of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer LLP, where she has worked since joining the firm in 2000.  Her legal practice focuses on complex civil litigation in both state and federal courts.  From 1998 to 2000, May served as a law clerk to Judge Dudley H. Bowen, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.  She received her J.D. magna cum laude in 1998 from the University of Georgia School of Law and her B.S. with honors in 1993 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  May is currently the Vice Chair of the Litigation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. 

Judge Eleanor Louise Ross:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Judge Eleanor Louise Ross has served on the DeKalb County State Court in Georgia since 2011.  Previously, she spent fifteen years as a prosecutor at both the federal and state levels.  From 2007 to 2011, she was Executive Assistant District Attorney in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office; from 2002 to 2005, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia; and from 1998 to 2002, she was Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.  Judge Ross served as an Assistant Solicitor General in the Office of the DeKalb County Solicitor-General from 1997 to 1998 and began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Tarrant County from 1995 to 1996.  She received her J.D. in 1994 from the University of Houston Law Center and her B.A. in 1989 from American University.

Judge Leo T. Sorokin:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Judge Leo T. Sorokin currently serves as the Chief United States Magistrate Judge in the District of Massachusetts, a position he assumed in 2012 after serving for seven years as a United States Magistrate Judge in the same District.  Previously, Judge Sorokin worked as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Boston from 1997 to 2005.  From 1994 to 1997, he served in the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts as an Assistant Attorney General and, from 1996 to 1997, as Opinions Coordinator.  He worked in private practice at the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo P.C. from 1992 to 1994, and he served as a law clerk for Judge Rya W. Zobel of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1992.  Judge Sorokin received his J.D. in 1991 from Columbia Law School and his B.A. cum laude in 1983 from Yale College.

Judge James Alan Soto:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona

Judge James Alan Soto currently serves as the Presiding Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County, Arizona—a court on which he has served since 2001.  From 1992 to 2001, Judge Soto was president and a shareholder of Soto, Martin and Coogan, P.C.; from 1979 to 1992, he was in private practice in various law partnerships; from 1976 to 1979, he was a sole practitioner; and from 1975 to 1976, he worked in the Law Offices of Nasib Karam.  Additionally, Judge Soto worked as a part-time Town Attorney in Patagonia, Arizona from 1975 until approximately 1992; as a part-time Deputy City Attorney in the Office of the Nogales City Attorney from 1975 until approximately 1983; and as a part-time Deputy County Attorney for the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office in 1979.  He received his J.D. in 1975 from Arizona State University College of Law and his B.S. in 1971 from Arizona State University.

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