Third Circuit judges to visit Law School

Law students, faculty, and others interested in careers in law are invited to “Inside the Third Circuit: Advocacy, Collegiality, and Decision Making,” a panel discussion set for 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, in the Greg Sutliff Auditorium at the University Park campus of Penn State. The Honorable Michael Chagares and the Honorable D. Brooks Smith, both of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will visit Penn State Law to share their insights into the decision-making process on the court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over federal district courts in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Federal Courts of Appeals are second only to the United States Supreme Court.

“To hear from distinguished federal judges in a relaxed setting about how the appellate process actually works is an extraordinary opportunity. How do judges interact? How do they reach decisions? What kind of advocacy do they find persuasive? Anyone interested in the law should find these questions fascinating. Rarely do lawyers have a chance to have these questions addressed by sitting federal appellate judges with a wealth of experience,” said antitrust scholar John E. Lopatka, who is moderating the discussion. Lopatka is the A. Robert Noll Distinguished Professor of Law at Penn State.

About the Judges

The Hon. Michael A. Chagares was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006. He is a member of the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he spent 14 years in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey, where he handled complex civil matters, including civil fraud cases, immigration appeals, regulatory matters, civil rights complaints, and RICO actions. After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2004 as Chief of the Civil Division, he became a partner in the New Jersey law firm Cole Schotz, where he focused on appellate litigation.

Chagares holds a bachelor of arts degree from Gettysburg College and a juris doctorate from Seton Hall and is a former clerk to the Hon. Morton Greenburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Chagares is an adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall.

The Hon. D. Brooks Smith was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2001. He previously served as Blair County District Attorney, a judge of the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, and from 1988 until his Third Circuit confirmation in 2002 a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, serving as the chief judge from 2001 until his elevation to the appellate court. He is chair of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on Space and Facilities and was a member of the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of The Dickinson School of Law and Franklin and Marshall College. 

Smith has assisted in efforts to enhance the rule of law in the judicial systems of Central and Eastern Europe. He has taught in judicial training sessions in Russia for the Department of State and with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative; in Bulgaria, Latvia and Albania with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); in Kosovo with the International Development Law Organization; and in Bosnia and Macedonia with the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training. Smith is an adjunct professor of law at Penn State. 

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Last Updated July 22, 2015