AUWCL Jurist-in-Residence Program Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary
Oct. 24, 2017
Guest Post By: Stephen Wermiel ’82, Professor of Practice and Associate Director, Summer Institute on Law & Government
The late Robert Keeton, a wise federal judge and former law professor, once opined that, “judging is choice,” and “judicial choice, at its best, is reasoned choice, candidly explained.”
Candidly explaining the role of judges and the process of judging is what the American University Washington College of Law Annual Jurist-in-Residence Program has been hosting for the past 10 years. Students and faculty alike have benefited from the experience.
Most recently, Judge Timothy Dyk spent October 19 -21, 2017, at the law school. He reflected on the specialized role of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., on which he has been a judge for 17 years. The Court is unique because of its jurisdiction over appeals in patent, trademark, and international trade cases. Before becoming a judge, Dyk clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Chief Justice Earl Warren and spent more than three decades in private practice.
Judge Dyk told students that lawyers often need to do a better job of introducing judges to their case; too often, he said, lawyers are so familiar with the case that they jump into details without explaining the context or giving an overview. He said oral argument is important to help the judges fully understand the dimensions and ramifications of a case, even if it doesn’t change a judge’s mind that often. Speaking to the faculty, Judge Dyk expressed concern that the Federal Circuit is spending more and more time on patent appeals cases and less time on other kinds of cases; this trend will isolate the judges from what is happening in the other federal appeals courts, he said.
In addition to Judge Dyk, over the past decade, AUWCL has hosted the following judges as part of its Jurist-in-Residence Program:
- Judge Dolores Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, 2008
- Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 2009
- Judge Raymond Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 2010
- Judge James Wynn, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2011
- Judge Denny Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 2012
- Judge Beverly Martin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, 2013
- Chief Judge Carl Stewart, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, 2014
- Judge Bernice Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, 2015
- Chief Judge Roger Gregory, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2016