President Obama Nominates Seven to Serve on the United States District Courts: Joan Marie Azrack, Alfred H. Bennett, Loretta Copeland Biggs, Elizabeth K. Dillon, George C. Hanks, Jr., Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr., Jill N. Parrish

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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

September 18, 2014

 

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

 

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, President Obama nominated Judge Joan Marie Azrack, Judge Alfred H. Bennett, Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs, Elizabeth K. Dillon, Judge George C. Hanks, Jr., Judge Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr., and Justice Jill N. Parrish to serve on the United States District Courts.

 

“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.”

 

Judge Joan Marie Azrack:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Judge Joan Marie Azrack has served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York since 1990 and served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 2000 to 2005.  From 1982 to 1990, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where she served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section from 1986 to 1990, and Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section from 1985 to 1986.  Judge Azrack began her legal career as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice from 1979 to 1981.  She received her J.D. in 1979 from New York Law School and her B.S. in 1974 from Rutgers University.

 

Judge Alfred H. Bennett: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Judge Alfred H. Bennett is the Presiding Judge for the 61st Civil District Court of Texas, a position he has held since 2009.  From 2010 to 2011, he served as the Administrative Judge for the Harris County Civil District Courts.  From 1998 to 2008, Judge Bennett was a solo practitioner, representing individuals and companies in litigation before both state and federal courts.  From 1994 to 1998, he worked at Solar & Fernandes LLP and from 1991 to 1994, he worked at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP.  Judge Bennett received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991 and his B.S. from the University of Houston in 1988.

 

Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs has been a partner at Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, PA, since May 2014 and previously was a partner and managing shareholder at Davis Harwell & Biggs, PA, from 2003 to 2014.  From 2001 to 2002, Judge Biggs served as a Judge on the Court of Appeals of North Carolina.  From 1994 to 2001, she worked in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, serving as Executive Assistant United States Attorney from 1997 to 2001.  Judge Biggs also served as a Judge on the Forsyth County District Court from 1987 to 1994 and as an Assistant District Attorney in Forsyth County from 1984 to 1987.  She began her legal career as Staff Counsel for The Coca-Cola Company from 1979 to 1982.  Judge Biggs received her J.D. with honors in 1979 from Howard University School of Law and her B.A. cum laude in 1976 from Spelman College.

 

Elizabeth K. Dillon:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Elizabeth K. Dillon is a shareholder at Guynn, Memmer & Dillon, PC, where she handles both trial and appellate matters in federal and state courts.  Previously, she worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Roanoke from 2000 to 2003.  From 1999 to 2000, Dillon was a shareholder at Guynn & Dillon, PC, a predecessor to her current law firm.  She began her legal career at Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove, PLC, from 1986 to 1998.  Dillon received her J.D. in 1986 from Wake Forest University School of Law and her A.B. magna cum laude in 1983 from Lenoir-Rhyne College.

 

Judge George C. Hanks, Jr.:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Judge George C. Hanks, Jr., has served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas since 2010.  From 2003 to 2010, he served as a Justice on the First Court of Appeals of Texas and from 2001 to 2002, he served as a District Judge for the 157th Civil District Court of Texas.  Prior to joining the bench, Judge Hanks was a shareholder at Wickliff & Hall, PC from 1996 to 2000, and an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP from 1991 to 1996.  He began his legal career by serving as a law clerk for Judge Sim Lake of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas from 1989 to 1991.  Judge Hanks received his LL.M. from Duke University Law School in 2014, his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989, and his B.A. summa cum laude from Louisiana State University in 1986.

 

Judge Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr.:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Judge Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr., has been the Presiding Judge of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region of Texas since 2011 and the District Judge for the 445th District Court of Texas since 2009.  From 2005 to 2006, he served as the District Judge for the 138th District Court of Texas, and from 2001 to 2002, he served as the District Judge for the 357th District Court of Texas.  Judge Olvera also worked as a solo practitioner and served as a part-time Brownsville Municipal Court Judge from 2007 to 2008.  From 2003 to 2004, he worked first as a solo practitioner and then with the law firm of Spain & Olvera.  Judge Olvera worked in private practice at Fleming & Olvera, PC, and its predecessor firms from 1994 to 2000 and at Atlas & Hall LLP from 1990 to 1993.  He received his J.D. in 1989 from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.A. in 1985 from Harvard University.

 

Justice Jill N. Parrish: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Utah

Justice Jill N. Parrish has served as a Justice of the Utah Supreme Court since 2003.  Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Parrish served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Utah from 1995 to 2003, during which time she supervised the Financial Litigation Unit in the Civil Division.  Previously, she worked at the Salt Lake City law firm of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, where she was a shareholder from 1990 to 1995 and an associate from 1986 to 1990.  Justice Parrish began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge David K. Winder of the United States District Court for the District of Utah from 1985 to 1986.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1985 and her B.A. summa cum laude from Weber State College in 1982.

 

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