Bar News - June 17, 2015
Court News: Jeffrey Howard New Chief Judge in First Circuit
|Judge Jeffrey Howard
Judge Jeffrey Howard on June 15 assumed responsibilities as chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, succeeding Judge Sandra Lynch.
Judges in the federal circuit courts serve rotating terms of seven years as presiding judges.
Howard, a former NH Attorney General and US Attorney, was appointed to the First Circuit in 2002. He is the only New Hampshire judge on the court on active status; also from New Hampshire and sitting as senior justices are retired US Supreme Court Justice David Souter and Circuit Court Judge Norman Stahl.
Howard, a Claremont native and graduate of Plymouth State College and Georgetown University Law Center, was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1981, and he went to work in the NH Attorney Generalís Office, rising to deputy attorney general in 1988. He was then appointed US Attorney for the District of New Hampshire from 1989 to 1993, and then returned as NH Attorney General, serving from 1993 to 1997.
In 2012, the last year of a published annual report, 1,587 cases were filed in the First Circuit, 1,612 were terminated and 1,225 cases were pending at the end of the year. The First Circuit has jurisdiction over the federal district courts in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island.
On June 4, the First Circuit held a ceremony to mark the end of Judge Lynchís tenure that included the presentation of a portrait of Lynch given to her by her current and former law clerks. Speaking at the ceremony were Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Souter, and two of Lynchís former law clerks.