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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

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

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Christopher Reid Cooper, Daniel D. Crabtree, M. Douglas Harpool, Sheryl H. Lipman, Gerald Austin McHugh, Jr., and Judge Edward G. Smith for District Court judgeships.

“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 Court.”

Christopher Reid Cooper:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Christopher “Casey” Reid Cooper has been a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP since February 2012.  Previously, he was a partner at Baker Botts LLP from 2001 to 2012 and an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLC from 1996 until it merged with Baker Botts in 2001.  In private practice, Cooper has represented a diverse set of clients in both criminal and civil investigations, with a focus on white-collar and anti-corruption matters.  From 1994 to 1996, he served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice.  He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Abner J. Mikva of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1993 to 1994.  Cooper received his J.D. with distinction in 1993 from Stanford Law School, where he was President of the Stanford Law Review, and his B.A. summa cum laude in 1988 from Yale University.

Daniel D. Crabtree:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas
Daniel D. Crabtree is a partner at the law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Kansas City.  He joined Stinson Mag & Fizzell, PC—a predecessor of his current firm—as an associate in 1981 and has spent his entire legal career at the firm, becoming a partner in 1988.  Over the course of his career, Crabtree has represented businesses and governmental entities in complex civil litigation in federal and state courts.  He also acts as the General Counsel for the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club.  Crabtree received his B.A. in 1978 from Ottawa University and his J.D. in 1981 from the University of Kansas School of Law.

M. Douglas Harpool:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
M. Douglas Harpool has been a shareholder at the law firm Baird, Lightner, Millsap & Harpool, PC in Springfield since 2006, where he handles a broad array of civil litigation.  He previously worked at Lathrop & Gage LLP from 2004 to 2006; at Cunningham, Harpool & Cardonnier LLC from 2002 to 2003; and at Daniel, Clampett, Lilly, Dalton, Powell & Cunningham from 1980 to 2001.  From 1983 to 1992, Harpool served as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.  He received his J.D. in 1980 from the University of Missouri Columbia School of Law and his B.S. cum laude in 1977 from Missouri State University.   

Sheryl H. Lipman:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
Sheryl H. Lipman has been University Counsel for the University of Memphis since 2002, having joined the University as Senior Attorney in 1999.  She is responsible for the legal interests of the University, serving as its primary in-house counsel on all major litigation and providing regulatory advice on a wide variety of issues.  Previously, Lipman practiced civil litigation while working at Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC from 1997 to 1999, served as Vice President of Comprehensive Services at the Memphis Race Relations & Diversity Institute from 1996 to 1997, and also practiced civil litigation at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP from 1991 to 1995. From 1988 to 1991, Lipman worked at Reed Smith, where she focused on white-collar criminal defense work.  She clerked for the Honorable Judge Julia S. Gibbons on the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee from 1987 to 1988.  Lipman received her J.D. in 1987 from the New York University School of Law and her B.G.S. in 1984 from the University of Michigan.

Gerald Austin McHugh, Jr.:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Gerald Austin McHugh, Jr. is a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Raynes McCarty, where he handles complex civil litigation involving tort, insurance, and civil rights claims.  Prior to joining Raynes McCarty in 2004, McHugh was a shareholder for 23 years with the civil litigation law firm of Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow, and Young.  From 1979 to 1981, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alfred L. Luongo of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and, in 1979, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edmund B. Spaeth of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.  McHugh received his J.D. cum laude in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his A.B. summa cum laude in 1976 from St. Joseph’s University.  

Judge Edward G. Smith:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Judge Edward G. Smith has served on the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Northampton County since 2002, handling both civil and criminal matters.  He is also a 27-year veteran of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, holding the rank of Captain, and currently serves as Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Naval Justice School.  Judge Smith previously served tours as both a military trial judge and military appellate judge and has earned the Bronze Star for service during combat operations in Iraq.  From 1990 until his election to the bench, Judge Smith was a partner in the law firm of DeRaymond & Smith in Easton, Pennsylvania.  He began his legal career serving as an Assistant Force Judge Advocate in Norfolk, Virginia and then served as a Senior Trial Defense Counsel for two years in Philadelphia, representing Navy and Marine Corps personnel in various matters.  He received his J.D. cum laude in 1986 from the Dickinson School of Law and his B.A. in 1983 from Franklin and Marshall College.