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Prosecutors and defense attorneys historically have been natural picks for judicial vacancies on the D.C. bench, but lately family law practitioners have been getting the nod. President George W. Bush’s pick of Family Court Magistrate Judge S. Pamela Gray for an open seat on the D.C. Superior Court last week marked the third time in five nominations that Bush has chosen a candidate from the field of family law. If confirmed by the Senate, Gray, former deputy director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, could join Judge Juliet McKenna, also a former Family Court magistrate judge, and Family Court Magistrate Judge Carol Dalton, who is still awaiting confirmation, on the Family Court bench. Priscilla Skillman, assistant director of the Council for Court Excellence, says the recent focus may stem from the fact that many of the original judges who joined the Family Court five years ago are starting to rotate out to other divisions of the court.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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