THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 6, 2009
President Obama Nominates
Judge Denny Chin for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Judge Denny Chin for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Chin currently serves as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. Judge Thompson currently serves as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court.
"Judges Chin and Thompson have displayed exceptional dedication to public service throughout their careers," President Obama said. "They have served on the bench with distinction in New York and Rhode Island, and I am honored to nominate them today to serve the American people on the United States Court of Appeals. I am confident that they will be judicious and esteemed additions to the First and Second Circuits."
Judge Denny Chin: Nominee for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Judge Denny Chin was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong. His family moved to the United States when he was 2 years old. Judge Chin was raised in New York City, attending Stuyvesant High School, a New York public school specializing in math and science, before attending Princeton University. He graduated from Princeton magna cum laude in 1975 and from Fordham Law School in 1978 where he was the managing editor of the Fordham Law Review.
After graduation, Judge Chin clerked on the Southern District of New York for Judge Henry F. Werker. He then spent two years at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1982. When he left the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1986, Judge Chin started a law firm with two colleagues: Campbell, Patrick & Chin. Four years later, he joined the law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.
In 1994, Judge Chin was nominated and confirmed to the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York, where he currently serves. He was the first Asian-American appointed as a U.S. District Court Judge outside of the Ninth Circuit.
Judge Chin has served as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law teaching legal research and writing since 1986. He is currently the Treasurer for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Judicial Council, and he has served as the President of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court and the President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. He also currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Fordham Law School Alumni Association and the Fordham Law School Law Review Association and as the Co-Chair for the Fordham Law School Minority Mentorship Program. Judge Chin is a member of the Federal Bar Council Public Service Committee, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Judge Chin is being nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson: Nominee for United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. She earned her A.B. from Brown University in 1973, and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1976. Judge Thompson began her legal career as a staff attorney at Rhode Island Legal Services as a Reginald Haber Smith Fellow. She was ultimately promoted to Senior Staff Attorney and Family Law Unit Manager, where she served as chief litigation counsel for all major domestic and juvenile trials. After three years at Legal Services, Judge Thompson entered private practice, working at a small firm and then as a solo practitioner before forming a partnership with her sister at the firm of Thompson & Thompson. There she focused on Native American law, civil rights, family law and real estate. While in private practice, Judge Thompson conducted trainings throughout the country for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She also served as Assistant City Solicitor, where she defended the City of Providence in civil actions and prosecuted criminal cases.
In 1988, Judge Thompson became the first African-American woman to be nominated to the Rhode Island District Court where she presided over state law criminal misdemeanors, civil actions with damages up to $10,000, and tax appeals. In 1997, she was elevated to the Rhode Island Superior Court, where she currently serves. She was the first African-American woman on that court. As an Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, Judge Thompson has original jurisdiction over all felony cases and civil actions, including those sounding in equity.
While on the bench, Judge Thompson chaired the Court’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Limited English Speaking Litigants, which was instrumental in the Superior Court establishing an Office of Court Interpreters to ensure that all limited English-speaking litigants have a fuller understanding of judicial proceedings. Judge Thompson is active in a wide variety of community and educational organizations. She is a Trustee of Brown University and of Bryant College.
Judge Thompson is being nominated for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.