President Obama Nominates Six to Serve on the United States District Court

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Vince Chhabria, Matthew Leitman, Judith Levy, Judge Laurie Michelson, Judge James Moody Jr. and Judge Linda Parker for District Court judgeships.

“These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench,” said President Obama.  “They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice.”

Vince Girdhari Chhabria: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Vince Girdhari Chhabria currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for Government Litigation and as the Co-Chief of Appellate Litigation at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, where he has worked since 2005.  Previously, Chhabria worked as an associate at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP from 2002 to 2004. From 2001 to 2002, he clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the United States Supreme Court. In 2001, Chhabria worked at the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, LLP, after completing a one-year clerkship for Judge James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1998 to 1999. Chhabria received his J.D. in 1998 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in 1991 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Matthew Frederick Leitman:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Matthew Frederick Leitman is a principal at the law firm Miller Canfield P.L.C. in Troy, Michigan, where he handles complex commercial litigation, criminal defense, and appellate matters before both state and federal courts.  Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Leitman spent a decade working at the law firm of Miro Weiner & Kramer P.C. in Bloomfield Hills.  Leitman began his career by clerking for Justice Charles L. Levin on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1993 to 1994.  Leitman received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1993 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. with highest distinction in 1990 from the University of Michigan.

Judith Ellen Levy:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Judith Ellen Levy has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan since 2000 and has served as the Chief of the Civil Rights Unit for that office for the past three years.  Previously, she was a trial attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1999 to 2000.  From 1996 to 1999, Levy served as a law clerk to the Honorable Bernard A. Friedman on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She received her J.D. cum laude in 1996 from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.S. in 1981 from the University of Michigan.  Between college and law school, Levy worked at the University of Michigan Hospital and served as the bargaining chairperson for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for six years.

Judge Laurie J. Michelson: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Judge Laurie J. Michelson is a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan, a position she has held since 2011.  Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Michelson spent nearly 18 years at the law firm of Butzel Long, where she began working as an associate in 1993 and later became a shareholder in 2000.  While in private practice, she specialized in media law, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense.  From 1992 to 1993, Judge Michelson served as a law clerk to Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  She received her J.D. in 1992 from Northwestern University School of Law and her A.B. in 1989 from the University of Michigan.

Judge James Maxwell Moody Jr.:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Judge James “Jay” Maxwell Moody Jr. currently serves as a Circuit Judge for the Third Division of the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas, a position he has held since 2003.  Before taking the bench, he worked at the law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, joining the firm as an associate in 1989 and becoming a partner in 1994.  While at Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Judge Moody practiced civil litigation in state and federal courts.  He received his J.D. in 1989 from the University of Arkansas Bowen School of Law and his B.S.B.A. in 1986 from the University of Arkansas. 

Judge Linda Vivienne Parker:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Judge Linda Vivienne Parker has served as a judge on the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan since 2009.  Prior to her service on the bench, she was the Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights from 2003 to 2008.  From 1994 to 2000, Judge Parker served as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan.  She worked at the Detroit law firm of Dickinson Wright from 1989 to 1994, becoming a partner at the firm in 1992.  Judge Parker began her legal career in Washington, D.C., working as a staff attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 1985 to 1989 and as a law clerk in the District of Columbia Superior Court from 1983 to 1985.  She received her J.D. in 1983 from the George Washington University Law School and her B.A. in 1980 from the University of Michigan.