Two private attorneys and a federal prosecutor were recommended this week to the White House as potential nominees to an open spot on the District of Columbia Superior Court.
The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission, which vets applicants for seats on Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals, recommended Philip Andonian of Bredhoff & Kaiser; Morrison & Foerster partner Robert Salerno; and Darlene Soltys of the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington. The three were selected from a pool of 19 lawyers who applied for the vacancy.
The White House will choose one lawyer as the nominee. President Barack Obama can pick from the three lawyers the commission recommended or any other lawyers already recommended for still-pending vacancies on the court. The nominee would replace Judge Robert Richter, who is expected to retire Oct. 2.
Andonian has been at Bredhoff & Kaiser since 2011. His practice focuses on labor union litigation and white-collar criminal defense, according to his firm bio. Before going into private practice, Andonian was an attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he worked for six years.
Andonian also worked as an associate at a small firm in California and clerked for D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin.
Salerno is the pro bono partner for Morrison & Foerster’s Washington office. His regular practices involves federal criminal investigations and commercial litigation, according to the firm. Before joining Morrison & Foerster, Salerno was a partner at DLA Piper.
For the past six years, Salerno has served on hearing committees of the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility, which adjudicates local attorney discipline cases.
Soltys, according to the commission, is a senior attorney in the violent crime and narcotic trafficking section of the U.S. attorney’s office in the District, where she practices mainly in federal court. From 1996 to 2004, she was an assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s County, Md. From 1992 to 1994, she worked in the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel, now known as the Office of the Attorney General.
Soltys clerked for D.C. Superior Court Judge Gregory Mize, who is now a senior judge.