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O. Rogeriee Thompson

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O. Rogeriee Thompson
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #6
Station:   Providence, RI
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   98-0
Active:   3/17/2010-Present
Preceded by:   Bruce Marshall Selya
Past post:   Rhode Island Superior Court
Past term:   1997-2010
Personal History
Born:   8/8/1951
Hometown:   Anderson, SC
Undergraduate:   Brown University, 1973
Law School:   Boston University Law, 1976

Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She was nominated to the court by President President Obama in 2009 and confirmed to the court on March 17, 2010. Prior to her confirmation, she served on the bench on the Rhode Island Superior Court.[1]

Thompson is the first African-American and the second female to serve on the First Circuit.[2]

Early life and education

Thompson received an A.B. in 1973 from Brown University and a J.D. in 1976 from Boston University School of Law.[2] [3] Thompson also holds honorary degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Bryant College.[4]

Professional career

  • 1997-2010: Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
  • 1988-1997: Associate Judge, Rhode Island District Court, Sixth Division
  • 1980-1988: Private Practice, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1980-1982: Assistant City Solicitor, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1979-1980: Private Practice, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • 1976-1979: Staff Attorney, Rhode Island Legal Services, Providence, Rhode Island[3][1]

Judicial career

First Circuit

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:O. Rogeriee Thompson
 Court:First Circuit
 Progress:Confirmed 162 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:October 6, 2009
ApprovedAABA Rating:Majority Qualified, Minority Not Qualified
ApprovedAHearing:December 1, 2009
ApprovedAReported:January 21, 2010 
ApprovedAConfirmed:March 17, 2010
 Vote: 98-0

Thompson was nominated for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President President Obama on October 6, 2009.[5] She was recommended to the President by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse who called her "highly qualified."[6] She was nominated to fill the seat vacated by Judge Bruce Marshall Selya.[7]

Thompson received a "satisfactory" rating from the American Bar Association.[8]

A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee occurred on December 1, 2009.[9] The only committee members in attendance for her hearing were Al Franken and Sheldon Whitehouse; none of the Republican members of the committee were present, suggesting that she was a non-controversial nominee.[10] You can find Thompson's Public Questionnaire here and Questions for the Record here.

On January 21, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move Thompson's nomination to a vote before the full Senate.[11][12] The Senate confirmed her to the court on March 17, 2010 by a vote of 98-0.[13][14]

Rhode Island District/Superior Court

Thompson joined the Rhode Island District Court in 1988 as the first African-American woman to serve on the bench. In 1997 she was elevated from the District Court to the Rhode Island Superior Court. She served at this post until her appointment to the federal bench in 2010. While she served in Rhode Island, Thompson chaired the court's Ad Hoc Task Force on Limited English Speaking Litigants which helped establish the Office of Court Interpreters to aid non-english speakers in understanding the full process of the judicial system.[3][15]

Awards and associations

  • 2010: Thompson is an inductee of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame of Providence
  • 2006: Women of Excellence Award, Women's Center of Rhode Island[16]

Notable cases

Stolen gun liability case (2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Jones v. Secord, 11-1576)

On July 6, 2012, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the ruling of Judge Paul Barbadoro of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. The panel found that a New Hampshire man could not be held liable for the use of his handgun in a violent crime. Gail Jones, the mother of a shooting victim, filed a lawsuit alleging that Lawrence Secord was liable for the use of his handgun by his grandson in an armed robbery that resulted in three fatalities in 2007. Secord's gun was stolen by his grandson, who broke into a locked summer cabin to obtain the firearm. Barbadoro agreed with Secord that he had taken proper precautions to secure his firearm.

Judge Bruce Marshall Selya agreed, writing the opinion of the panel of Judges Jeffrey R. Howard and O. Rogeriee Thompson. He stated in the opinion, "The record here, even when construed in the light most flattering to the plaintiff, does not show either a particularized risk of harm or a degree of foreseeability sufficient to animate this exception." Jones told the press she brought the lawsuit on to raise awareness of gun storage and risk, telling the press, "Firearms are very dangerous when they're in the wrong hands."[17][18]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 O. Rogeriee Thompson Biography from the Federal Judicial Center, accessed January 27, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Providence Journal, "Obama nominates Thompson to First Circuit court," October 6, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 White House News Release, "President Obama Nominates Judge Denny Chin for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit," October 6, 2009
  4. Providence Journal, "Obama nominates R.I. judge Thompson to federal appeals court bench," October 7, 2009
  5. Jack Reed Press Release, "Reed and Whitehouse Announce Recommendation of Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and John J. "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island," April 13, 2009
  6. Jack Reed Press Release. "Reed and Whitehouse Announce Recommendation of Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and John J. "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island," April 13, 2009
  7. WPRI News, "RI judge recommended for federal post," April 13, 2009 (dead link)
  8. Providence Journal, "Support for R.I. judge not unanimous," October 25, 2009
  9. Providence Journal, "U.S. Senate to receive R.I. Superior Court Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson’s nomination to appeals bench," December 1, 2009
  10. Providence Journal, "R.I. judge’s nomination rolls smoothly through Senate hearing," December 2, 2009
  11. Providence Journal, "Senate gets Thompson nomination," January 22, 2010
  12. Providence Journal, "Senate panel to vote on Rhode Islander nominated to federal bench," January 21, 2010
  13. The Providence Journal "Senate confirms Thompson for federal bench," March 18, 2010
  14. Projo 7 to 7 News Blog, "Update: Senate sends R.I.'s Thompson to appeals court," March 17, 2010
  15. Rhode Island Courts, "Know Your Courts: Rhode Island Superior Court" (page 10)
  16. The Providence Journal, "Thompson, Gross, Montiero named to MLK Hall of Fame," January 18, 2010
  17., "Court says gun owner not negligent in NH shooting," July 9, 2012
  18., "Opinion: Jones v. Secord"
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Bruce Marshall Selya
First Circuit
Seat #6
Succeeded by:

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