U.S. District Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper was sworn in to the federal trial court in Washington on Friday, taking the oath in front of friends and family who represent the upper echelon of government service and private practice.
At the ceremony, Cooper’s many connections to Washington’s legal community were highlighted. His wife is Arnold & Porter partner Amy Jeffress, a former senior official with the U.S. Department of Justice, and his father-in-law is William Jeffress Jr., a partner at Baker Botts and dean of the white-collar defense bar. Associate Attorney General Tony West, a former colleague of Cooper’s at the Justice Department, presented Cooper’s commission from the White House during Friday’s ceremony.
“Yes, Casey has friends,” said Jamie Gorelick, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and Cooper’s former boss at the Justice Department. “Indeed, I don’t know that he’s ever made an enemy.”
Retired D.C. Circuit Judge Abner Mikva, who Cooper clerked for after law school, said in his remarks that he thought Cooper would be “an outstanding addition” to the district court. Mikva praised Cooper’s temperament—“I don’t think I ever heard Casey lose his temper or raise his voice,” he said—his intelligence and his understanding of a judge’s responsibility to serve the public.
Randall Turk, a partner at Baker Botts—where Cooper once worked—said Cooper demonstrated “a quiet commitment to what is right.”
Cooper was confirmed to the court in March and has already been serving for several months. In recent weeks, he’s been thrust into the limelight as the presiding judge of the criminal case against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a suspect charged in connection with the deadly September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Before his appointment, Cooper was a partner in the London office of Covington & Burling.
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