Juan Torruella

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Juan Torruella
Juan Rafael Torruella.jpg
Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #5
Station:   San Juan, PR
Service:
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   10/4/1984 - Present
Chief:   1994-2001
Preceded by:   98 Stat. 333
Past post:   District of Puerto Rico
Past chief:   1982-1984
Past term:   1974-1984
Past position:   Seat #1
Personal History
Born:   1933
Hometown:   San Juan, PR
Undergraduate:   U. of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1954
Law School:   Boston U. Law, J.D., 1957
Grad. School:   U. of Virginia Law, LL.M., 1984
U. of Puerto Rico, M.P.A., 1984



Juan R. Torruella (b. 1933) is a federal judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He joined the court in 1984 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan.

Prior to his nomination to the First Circuit, Torruella was a district judge on the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. He joined the district court in 1974 after an nomination from Gerald Ford . At the time of his appointment, he was a private practice attorney in Puerto Rico.[1]

Early life and education

Torruella was born in 1933 in San Juan, PR. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with his bachelor's degree in 1954 and later graduated from Boston University School of Law with his J.D. degree in 1957. He went on to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law with his Master of Laws degree in 1984 and earned a Master's in Public Affairs from the University of Puerto Rico School of Public Administration in 1984.[1]

Former Olympian

Torruella competed in four Olympic Games as a sailor for the Puerto Rico sailing team, beginning in 1964 until the 1976 games. He served as the teams coach in the 1984 games. He now sits on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international organization that works to settle sports disputes.[2]

Professional career

Torruella was a private practice attorney licensed in Puerto Rico from 1959 to 1974.[1]

Judicial career

First Circuit

Torruella was nominated to the First Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on August 1, 1984. He was nominated for a new seat created by 98 Stat. 333. Torruella was confirmed by the Senate on October 3, 1984 on a senate vote and received his commission on October 4, 1984. Torruella served as chief judge of the First Circuit from 1994-2001.[1]

District of Puerto Rico

Judge Torruella was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico by Gerald Ford on November 18, 1974, to a seat vacated by Hiram Cancio. He was confirmed by the Senate on December 18, 1974, and received his commission on December 20, 1974. Torruella served as chief judge of the court from 1982-1984 and he left it on October 30, 1984, due to his elevation to the First Circuit.[1] Torruella was succeeded in this position by Jose Fuste.

Awards and associations

Awards

  • 1998: Roger Williams University, Honorary Doctor of Law
  • 1998: International Olympic Committee, Olympic Order
  • 1995: St. Johns University, Honorary Doctor of Law
  • 1995: Boston University, Alumni Award
  • 1992: 500th Anniversary of the Discovery of the America's Medal
  • 1982: Boston University, Silver Shingle Award

Notable cases

Truth defense (2009)

  United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
     *Alan S. Noonan v. Staples, Inc. No. 07-2159
On February 13, 2009, Torruella wrote the opinion in Noonan v. Staples, which held that a finding of libel can be made by a court even when the a potentially libelous comment is true. Some legal analysts say this is the first federal court decision in the United States that goes against the precedent that truth is an absolute defense against libel.[3]


See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Hiram Cancio
District of Puerto Rico
1974–1984
Seat #1
Succeeded by:
Jose Fuste
Preceded by:
NA - new seat
First Circuit
1984–present
Seat #5
Succeeded by:
NA