BYU Law Students to Argue Before D.C. Circuit Judges

In the world of appellate litigation, it is a singular opportunity for a practicing attorney to argue before a panel of judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of the nation’s most important courts. But this Friday, the finalists in BYU Law’s Moot Court Competition will do just that, as the law school welcomes three distinguished judges from the D.C. Circuit as competition judges.

BYU Law will be pleased to welcome Judge Thomas B. Griffith, Judge Patricia A. Millett, and Judge David B. Sentelle to judge the final round of the competition on Friday, October 30 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 303.

Judge Griffith was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals in June 2005. A graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Judge Griffith was engaged in private practice from 1985–1995 and again in 1999. From 1995–99, Judge Griffith was Senate Legal Counsel of the United States. In that capacity, he represented the interests of the Senate in litigation and advised the Senate leadership and its committees on investigations, including the impeachment trial of President Clinton.bFrom 2000 until his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals, Judge Griffith was Assistant to the President and General Counsel of Brigham Young University. Judge Griffith has long been active in the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI). He currently serves on the CEELI Council of the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative and on the board of directors of the CEELI Institute in Prague. Since joining the Court, Judge Griffith has taught courses on Presidential Powers and Judicial Process at BYU Law and on the Role of an Article III judge at Stanford Law School.

Judge Millett was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals on December 10, 2013. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (summa cum laude) in 1985 and from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1988.  After working in a private law firm for two years, she clerked for Judge Thomas Tang of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Following her clerkship, she worked for four years on the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division in the United States Department of Justice and for eleven years as an Assistant in the Office of the Solicitor General. She argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

Judge Sentelle was appointed United States Circuit Judge in October 1987, served as Chief Judge from February 11, 2008 until February 11, 2013, and took senior status on February 12, 2013. He is a 1968 graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School. Following law school, he was in private practice until he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Charlotte, N.C. in 1970. From 1974 to 1977, he served as a North Carolina State District Judge but left the bench in 1977 to become a partner in a law firm. In 1985, Judge Sentelle joined the U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, in Asheville, where he served until his appointment to the D.C. Circuit. Judge Sentelle was the Presiding Judge of the Special Division for the Purpose of Appointing Independent Counsels (1992-2006). He also served as the Chair of the U.S. Judicial Conference's Executive Committee (2010-2013). Judge Sentelle served for over 20 years as President of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of the American Inns of Court.