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|Current Court Information:|
|United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|
|Appointed by:||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by:||William Walter Wilkins|
|Undergraduate:||University of Pennsylvania, 1983|
|Law School:||New York University Law School, 1988|
|Grad. School:||Boston University, 1993|
Albert Diaz is an Article III federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama. Diaz is the first Hispanic judge to serve the Fourth Circuit. Diaz received his commission to serve the court on December 22, 2010.
Diaz earned his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. In 1988, he received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and in 1993, he received his M.S. from Boston University.
- 2005-2010: Special judge, North Carolina Business Court
- 2005-2006: Reserve appellate military judge, U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
- 2001-2005: Judge, North Carolina Superior Court (first Hispanic to serve as a Superior Court judge in the state)
- 2000-2005: Reserve military judge, U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary
- 1995-2001: Attorney in private practice, firm of Hunton & Williams
- 1995-2000: Reserve appellate defense counsel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy
- 1991-1995: Appellate government counsel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy
- 1988-1991: Prosecutor, defense counsel, and chief review officer, Legal Services Support Section, U.S. Marine Corps
Federal judgeship nomination
|Progress:||Confirmed 409 days after nomination.|
|Nominated:||November 4, 2009|
|ABA Rating:||Unanimously Well Qualified|
|Hearing:||December 16, 2009|
|Reported:||January 28, 2010|
|Confirmed:||December 18, 2010|
|Vote: Voice vote|
President Obama nominated Diaz to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on November 4, 2009.
Judiciary Committee hearing
Diaz received a unanimous vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee to forward his nomination to the full Senate. He had a hearing before the committee on December 16, 2009. Diaz was questioned along with fellow nominee James Wynn by just three members of the committee. When asked about his judicial philosophy, Diaz said: "We're not simply dealing with an academic exercise, but we're affecting people's lives in each and every case." They reported him to the Senate on January 28, 2010, and the Senate confirmed his nomination on December 18, 2010.
Awards and associations
- Vice President, North Carolina Bar Association
- Member, ABA Judicial Division
- Member, NCBA Hispanic-Latino Lawyers Committee
- Member, NCBA Minorities in the Profession Committee
- Member, Hispanic National Bar Association
- Member, Continuing Judicial Education Committee, North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges
- Member, American College of Business Court Judges
- Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Nominating Committee
- Member, Special Committee on Diversity
- Secretary, Chief Justice William H. Bobbitt Inn of Court
Copyright suit over NFL Baltimore Ravens logo (2013)United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership, et al, 12-2543)
On December 17, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, composed of Judges Harvie Wilkinson, Allyson Duncan, and Albert Diaz, found that both the Baltimore Ravens' and National Football League's (NFL) use of the team's old "Flying B" logo did not infringe upon plaintiff Frederick Bouchat's copyright.
In the underlying case, Bouchat, an amateur artist, proposed a new logo for the Ravens after the team moved to Baltimore in 1995. The Ravens then presented a logo that was strikingly similar to the one Bouchat suggested. Bouchat obtained a copyright on his original drawing and filed suit, ultimately winning the case but without damages awarded. Several years later, the Ravens again changed the team logo, but Bouchat alleged infringement once more, and attempted to prevent the team and the NFL from using its previous "Flying B" logo in documentary films and photographs. The district court found that the defendants' use was fair.
Judge Wilkinson, writing for the majority, affirmed the lower court's decision, noting that the use of Bouchat's copyrighted work was transformative (i.e., it was used for a different purpose than its original one). Wilkinson further stated:
|“||The uses here were not only transformative, but also -- take your pick -- fleeting, incidental, de minimis, innocuous. If these uses failed to qualify as fair, a host of perfectly benign and valuable expressive works would be subject to lawsuits. That in turn would discourage the makers of all sorts of historical documentaries and displays, and would deplete society's fund of informative speech.||”|
- Federal Judicial Center, "Biography of Albert Diaz"
- North Carolina Court System, "Judge Albert Diaz Biography"
- Blog of Legal Times, "2nd Circuit Is Back in Democrats' Hands," December 20, 2010
- NYU School of Law News, "Albert Diaz '88 and Raymond Lohier '91 confirmed as federal appeals court judges," December 20, 2010
- ACSBlog, "Today's Fourth Circuit Nominations," November 4, 2009
- Associated Press, "White House nominates 2 NC judges for 4th Circuit," November 4, 2009
- Sun News, "2 N.C. judges nominated to 4th Circuit seats," November 5, 2009
- Blog of Legal Times, "Obama Nominates Two from N.C. to the 4th Circuit," November 4, 2009
- Washington Post, "Obama nominates two to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals," November 4, 2009
- WRAL, "White House nominates two N.C. judges for 4th Circuit," November 4, 2009
- Federal Judicial Center, "Biography of Albert Diaz"
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, "Judge Albert Diaz Bio," accessed March 27, 2014
- White House Press Release, "President Obama Nominates Judge Albert Diaz and Judge James Wynn to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals," November 4, 2009
- Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "111th Congress Judicial Nomination Materials," accessed March 27, 2014 (dead link)
- Off the Record, "Wynn, Diaz advance," January 28, 2010
- Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "Official Hearing Notice," accessed April 23, 2014
- News Observer, "N.C. judges get easy hearing in Senate," December 17, 2009
- News-Record:Off the Record, "N.C. judges show well at confirmation hearing," December 17, 2009
- North Carolina Court System, "Judge Albert Diaz Biography," accessed March 27, 2014
- Courthouse News Service, "Old NFL Ravens Logo Won't Cost Team Again," December 19, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
|Federal judicial offices|
William Walter Wilkins
|Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
2010 - present
|Vacancy Count by Congress|
|Vacancy Count by Year||Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2009 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2010 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2011 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2012|