For immediate release

CONCORD (November 1, 2018)–On Thursday, November 1, 2018, the Honorable Landya B. McCafferty became chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, a position created by Congress in 1948. She is the first woman to serve as chief judge in the District of New Hampshire. Chief Judge McCafferty’s predecessor, Joseph N. Laplante, completed his seven-year term the previous day. Judge Laplante will remain in active service on the court.

Judge McCafferty has served as a district judge for almost 5 years. She was nominated by President Barack Obama, on the recommendation of Senator Jeanne Shaheen and supported by United States Senator Kelly Ayotte, and received her commissions on December 18, 2013. Prior to that, Judge McCafferty served in the District of New Hampshire as a Magistrate Judge for 3 ½ years. Judge McCafferty attended Harvard University for her undergraduate studies and earned her law degree from Northeastern School of Law in 1991.

Before joining the federal judiciary, Judge McCafferty served for more than six years (2004-2010) as Disciplinary Counsel for the New Hampshire Attorney Discipline Office. Most of her career, however, was spent as a staff attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender Office, with two of those years as an appellate defender arguing appeals on behalf of indigent defendants before the New Hampshire Supreme Court (1995-2003). Judge McCafferty worked for a short time in private practice for the McLane Law Firm, and immediately out of law school, she clerked for the Honorable Norman H. Stahl at both the District of New Hampshire and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school, Judge McCafferty worked for four years (1984-1988) at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, as a teacher, coach, and
admissions officer.

The chief judge assumes the position based on seniority, as authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 45. In sum, the chief judge oversees the administrative operations of the court, and is regarded as the “first among equals” among the judges of the court.

On Judge McCafferty assuming the chief judge position, United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen noted, “Throughout her career, Judge McCafferty has demonstrated a commitment to public service and the rule of law, and I’m thrilled that she’ll be the first woman to serve as Chief Judge for the District of New Hampshire. I was very proud to recommend her to President Obama for the nomination to the court in 2013 where she has exhibited fairness and a dedication to the pursuit of justice. I congratulate Judge McCafferty, and extend my gratitude to Judge Laplante for his service as Chief Judge and his continued service on the federal bench.” United States Senator Maggie Hassan added, “I congratulate Judge McCafferty on her new position as Chief Judge for the U.S District Court of New Hampshire, and thank outgoing Chief Judge Joe Laplante for his outstanding service to New Hampshire. Judge McCafferty will be the first woman to serve as Chief Judge in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, an accomplishment that will pave the way for girls and women throughout the state and country and will add to the diversity of our federal bench in critical ways. Her distinguished career and commitment to protecting equality and justice under the law make her well-suited for this position, and I wish her well in this important new endeavor.”

For additional information, please contact Clerk of Court, Dan Lynch, at (603) 225-1477.