For attorneys, one of the most coveted legal positions is being appointed federal judge by the President. It’s a prestigious position with vast powers and is a lifetime appointment, meaning guaranteed job security.
Today, Senator Mark Pryor officially recommended eight attorneys to President Obama for the positions of U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas and U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. The federal judges in those districts have assumed “senior status”, which is akin to semi-retirement.
For the Eastern District, Pryor officially recommended the following lawyers:
Justin T. Allen
Jane W. Duke
James “Jay” Moody
Derrick W. Smith
For the Western District, Pryor officially recommended the following lawyers:
Timothy L. Brooks
Jon B. Comstock
Niki T. Cung
Mark T. Fryauf
The most intriguing recommendation is that of Niki Cung, a Fayetteville attorney with the powerhouse law firm of Kutak Rock. Cung is the first Vietnamese-American to pass the Arkansas Bar and has an fascinating story of how her family fled Vietnam in the mid-70′s. Cung narrowly lost a Court of Appeals race last year in Northwest Arkansas.
A few days ago the Washington Post reported Obama wanted to diversify the federal courts to make it look more like America.
This may give Cung a leg-up in consideration, especially when considering the other three Pryor recommendations for that district are all white men.
Obama will nominate one person from each district and the U.S. Senate will vote to approve the nomination.