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Kimba Wood

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Kimba Wood
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #5T
Station:   New York, NY
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   04/20/1988 - 05/31/2009
Chief:   2006 - 2009
Senior:   06/01/2009 - Present
Preceded by:   Constance Motley
Succeeded by:   Vincent L. Briccetti
Personal History
Born:   1944
Hometown:   Port Townsend, WA
Undergraduate:   Connecticut College, B.A., 1965
Law School:   Harvard Law, J.D., 1969
Grad. School:   London School of Economics, M.Sc., 1966

Kimba Maureen Wood (b. 1944) is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She joined the court in 1988 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. She is serving on senior status.

Early life and education

Born in Port Townsend, Washington, Wood graduated from Connecticut College with her bachelor's degree in 1965. In 1966, Wood earned a Master's in Science from the London School of Economics, and in 1969, a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.[1]

Professional career

Wood was a private practice attorney in Washington, D.C., from 1969 to 1970. She then served as an attorney in the Office of Legal Services for the Washington, D.C.-based Office of Economic Opportunity from 1970 to 1971. Wood again worked as a private practice attorney in New York City, New York, from 1971 to 1988.[1]

Judicial career

Southern District of New York

On the recommendation of New York U.S. Senator Al D'Amato, Wood was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Ronald Reagan on December 18, 1987, to a seat vacated by Constance Motley. Wood was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 19, 1988, and received commission on April 20, 1988. Wood served as chief judge of the Southern District of New York from 2006 to 2009. Judge Wood assumed senior status on June 1, 2009.[1]

Notable cases

Railroad retiree sentenced for collecting fraudulent disability payments (2014)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (U.S. v. Neville)

On March 10, 2014, Judge Wood sentenced Kevin Neville, a former Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) dispatcher, to twenty-one months in prison for his rampant filing of fraudulent disability claims.[2]

Neville was part of a "massive, decadelong scheme" where former LIRR employees made fraudulent claims to the federal Railroad Retirement Board. Neville collected about $200,000 after claiming that he had very bad back pain. In the prosecution of the case against Neville, the government found that the man was an avid golfer and shoveled snow in the winter months, despite assertions that he couldn't "bend or stretch."[2]

Neville's lawyer asked that Judge Wood sentence his client to probation, but she declined to do so, citing Neville's "greed." Neville was sentenced to one year and nine months in jail in the hope of deterring future fraud.[2]

Prosecuting jury nullification advocates in U.S. (2011)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (United States, v. Julian Heicklen, 10-ct-1154-KMW)

In November 2011, charges were brought before Judge Wood against Julian P. Heicklen, a 79-year-old retired chemistry professor, for jury tampering. Heicklen got in trouble for his practice of standing outside courthouses holding a sign saying "Jury Info," and handing out pamphlets that advocated the practice of jury nullification. He was indicted in 2010 and charges were formally brought by prosecutors. At the same time, the defense, which consisted of Heicklen representing himself and a host of other lawyers assisting him, filed a motion to dismiss the charges. Judge Wood scheduled time to hear oral arguments on the motion in December 2011.[3] The case was dismissed on the grounds that Heicklen was not attempting to influence jurors of specific cases.[4]

LimeWire suit (2010)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Arista Records LLC, et al., v. Lime Group LLC, et al., 06-cv-5936-KMW)

Judge Wood presided in a lawsuit between the Recording Industry Artists Association and LimeWire. Judge Wood ruled on May 11, 2010, that the software sharing service was involved in copyright infringement of music owned by major record companies. Attorneys for LimeWire did not appeal the ruling to the New York City-based Second Circuit Court of Appeals and opted to settle for $105 million.[5][6]

Croatian seamstress' insider trading case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Securities and Exchange Commission, v. Sonja Anticevic, et al., 05-cv-6991-KMW)

Judge Wood presided in the case of a former seamstress who was involved in an insider trading ring. Sonja Anticevic was ordered to pay over $5 million for her role in a scheme that used information of certain mergers including Adidas-Reebok and a grand jury indictment of Bristol Meyers for illegal trading.[7]

Archimedes Palimpsest case (1998)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, v. Christie's Inc.,, 98-cv-7664-KMW)

In 1998, Wood presided over the case of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem v. Christie's, Inc., in which the ownership of the celebrated Archimedes Palimpsest was disputed.[8] A palimpsest is a manuscript scroll or book from which the text has been scraped off and overwritten, in which the original text can still be read. The Archimedes Palimpsest is a 10th-century copy of several works by ancient Greek writers Archimedes of Syracuse, a mathematician and physicist of the third century BC, and the philosopher Aristotle. In the 12th century, a liturgical text had been written over the work of Archimedes. The book included the only surviving copy of a work of Archimedes, which would otherwise be unknown today, that anticipated some of the discoveries of integral calculus. Mathematicians consider the techniques that Archimedes used in that work to be brilliant. A French collector, Anne Guersan, claiming to be the book's owner, had arranged for it to be sold by Christie's auction house in New York. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the governing authority of one of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The Patriarchate claimed that the book had been stolen from one of its monasteries in the 1920s. Judge Wood ruled in favor of Christie's, determining that French law was applicable in this case. Under French law, one who possesses something publicly, peacefully, continuously, and unambiguously for thirty years is its owner. Wood also wrote that if New York law were applicable, she would find in favor of Christie's on laches grounds.[9] The book was then sold to an American collector for about $2 million. It has since been kept at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, where scientists using modern techniques have been able to read parts of it that could not be read before. For more on the palimpsest, see: The Archimedes Palimpsest Project.

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Constance Motley
Southern District of New York
Succeeded by:
Vincent L. Briccetti

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