What’s in the Pipeline for Judicial Vacancies? – February 11 Update

We continue to follow the important changes underway behind the bench at the Federal Circuit and in several district courts where a significant number of patent infringement cases are pending. In recent months, a number of long-serving judges have retired or taken senior status, and new judges have been or are being selected to fill those vacancies. The chart below summarizes the status of the vacancies.

Despite a log jam in the judicial confirmation process during the presidential election season, a total of 50 federal circuit and district court judicial nominees were confirmed in 2012 (versus 64 total in 2011). A number of nominations that had been stalled in 2012 were returned to the president shortly after the New Year, including the nominations of Richard Taranto for a seat on the Federal Circuit and Beverly Reid O'Connell for a seat on the federal district court in the Central District of California. Most recently, on February 7, 2013, President Obama nominated Raymond T. Chen and Todd M. Hughes to fill the two remaining vacancies on the Federal Circuit bench. Raymond Chen currently serves as the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a position he has held since 2008. Todd Hughes has been the Deputy Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice since 2007.

We will update this chart periodically as the nomination process moves forward for various nominees.

To view the chart, please click here.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact—

Michael Simons