Rosanna Peterson, UND Law Class of '91, appointed to US District Court
Conrad Supports UND Grad for Federal Judgeship
Press Release January 25, 2010, Senator Kent Conrad press release
Rosanna Peterson Earned Three Degrees from UND
Washington – Senator Kent Conrad voted today to confirm University of North Dakota graduate Rosanna Peterson to the federal bench for the Eastern District of Washington State. The Senate approved the nomination by a vote of 89-0.
Peterson received her J.D., with distinction, from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1991, where she served as editor-in-chief of the law review and was chosen by her professors as the “Outstanding Graduate.” She also earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of North Dakota.
“With a bachelors, a masters and a law degree from the University of North Dakota, you cannot receive a better education than Judge Peterson did,” said Senator Conrad. “I am proud to vote to confirm her for the federal bench for the Eastern District of Washington State and wish her luck.”
Peterson, 58, is a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law and has a solo law practice. Previously, she worked as an attorney in private practice at a number of law firms in Spokane, WA. After graduation from UND Law School, she clerked for Judge Fred Van Sickle, whom she will now replace in the Eastern District.
Senate confirms UND grad to federal bench
WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Senate confirmed today a University of North Dakota graduate to a federal judgeship in the Eastern District of Washington state.
Senators approved Rosanna Peterson’s nomination by an 89-0 vote, Sen. Kent Conrad’s office announced this morning.
Peterson graduated from the UND School of Law in 1991, after serving as editor in chief of the law review. She was chosen by her professors as the “Outstanding Graduate.”
Peterson previously received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English also from UND.
“You cannot receive a better education than Judge Peterson did,” Conrad said in a statement. “I am proud to vote to confirm her for the federal bench for the Eastern District of Washington State and wish her luck.”
Peterson, 58, is currently a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law and maintains her own law practice.
Previously, she worked as an attorney in private practice at a number of law firms in Spokane, Wash.
After she graduated from the UND School of Law, she clerked for federal Judge Fred Van Sickle, whom she will now replace in the Eastern District.
From The Spokesman-Review
Gonzaga Law Professor Rosanna Peterson was confirmed today to the federal bench for the Eastern District of Washington
“Rosanna Peterson is a leader in the Washington state legal community,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said following the 89-0 Senate confirmation vote. “She is a great lawyer, teacher and mentor, and I believe she will make an exceptional federal judge.”
Peterson, who worked previously worked in private practice in Spokane, is Eastern Washington’s first female federal judge.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA - OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
President Obama taps UND alum for federal court bench
President Barack Obama this week forwarded to the Senate the name of University of North Dakota alum Rosanna M. Peterson as his nominee to serve on the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
Peterson was among more than two dozen applicants for the lifetime position last November, and the only woman among the three finalists. The American Bar Association, which rates judicial appointment candidates, unanimously found Peterson "qualified."
"I am honored to nominate Rosanna Peterson to the United States District Court bench," said President Obama. "Throughout her career, she has displayed exceptional integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice. She will be a distinguished addition to the federal bench for the Eastern District of Washington and I am grateful for her willingness to serve."
Peterson earned her undergraduate degree in English in 1977; her Master of Arts degreein English in 1983, her juris doctor (law) degree in 1991, all from UND.
President Obama’s choice of Peterson for the federal bench was enthusiastically received at UND.
“We are so proud to have one of our graduates nominated for a federal judicial appointment, one of the most prestigious positions in the legal profession,” said Kathryn Rand, dean of the UND School of Law. “Professor Peterson's nomination is a testament to the quality of the education we provide at UND.”
Rand said that Peterson—once her appointment is ratified by the Senate—joins a select group of UND School of Law alumni who have been appointed to the federal bench over the years, including Kermit Bye of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; and Daniel Hovland, Ralph Erickson, and the late Rodney Webb of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota.
Peterson, a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash., would become the first female judge on Eastern Washington’s U.S. District Court bench. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., called the nomination of a woman to the federal bench in the state of Washington "historic."
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Peterson has served as president of the Federal Bar Association for Eastern Washington and the Woman Lawyers State Bar Association.
Following graduation from law school, Peterson clerked for the Honorable Fred Van Sickle in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. After her clerkship, Peterson practiced general litigation, employment and education law, as well as criminal defense at several private law firms in Spokane.
In 1999, Peterson joined the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law, where she teaches evidence, federal jurisdiction, and trial advocacy. She became the director of the School of Law’s Externship Program in 2002.
Professor nominated for U.S. District Court
WASHINGTON – If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gonzaga University law professor Rosanna Peterson would become the first woman to serve on Eastern Washington’s U.S. District Court bench.
President Barack Obama announced Peterson’s nomination Tuesday for the vacancy left after Judge Fred Van Sickle’s move to senior status last year. She was chosen for the Eastern District, which encompasses Spokane and 19 other counties, from three finalists selected by a bipartisan committee.
“I’m very honored and extremely appreciative of the vote of confidence from President Obama,” said Peterson, who found out she was nominated after a 6 a.m. phone call from Sen. Patty Murray’s office.
Peterson, who has served as president of the Federal Bar Association for Eastern Washington and the Woman Lawyers State Bar Association, was among more than two dozen applicants for the lifetime position last November, and the only woman among the three finalists.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., called the nomination of a woman to the court “historic,” and Murray praised the state’s selection commission.
“I’m proud to support her and I’m proud that our bipartisan Washington State Selection Committee process continues to produce exceptional candidates,” Murray said in a statement.
Selection processes similar to Washington’s are becoming more common around the country, replacing a tradition in which a state’s senators informally choose nominees to send to the president, said University of Richmond Professor Carl Tobias, a judicial selection expert. The nomination also demonstrates the Obama administration’s push to nominate more women and minorities to federal judgeships, he said.
“I’m not at all surprised that a woman was nominated,” Tobias said. “There are many districts that have not had a woman on the bench before, and to some extent, the White House is trying to rectify that.”
The American Bar Association, which rates judicial appointment candidates before the president announces a nomination, unanimously found Peterson “qualified.” Of the 23 nominations received by the Senate Judiciary Committee this year, only seven, including Peterson, were rated below “unanimously well qualified.”
The ABA generally gives higher rankings to sitting justices, Tobias said, which may well explain Peterson’s lower ranking.
There is a backlog of judge nominations waiting on confirmation from the full Senate, with 20 nominees ahead of Peterson, so Tobias said he doubted her confirmation vote will come this year.
Earl Martin, who worked with Peterson as dean of Gonzaga’s School of Law and is now GU’s acting academic vice president, said the university has been anticipating losing her to the federal bench.
“You hate to lose her, but at the same time this is wonderful for her and frankly wonderful for the institution,” he said. “It’s a great honor for the place.”