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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the US Court of Appeals

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Judge Robert E. Bacharach and Mr. William J. Kayatta, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals.

“I am proud to nominate these outstanding candidates to serve on the United States Court of Appeals,” said President Obama.  “I am confident Judge Robert E. Bacharach and William J. Kayatta will serve the American people with integrity and distinction.”

Judge Robert E. Bacharach:  Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Judge Robert E. Bacharach has served as a United States Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma since 1999.  He is also an active member of the Federal Bar Association, where he has served as a Tenth Circuit Vice President since 2007.

Judge Bacharach was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  He received his B.A. in 1981 from the University of Oklahoma, graduating with high honors.  He received his J.D. in 1985 from the Washington University School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as an editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Bacharach served for two years as a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Holloway, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  In 1987, Judge Bacharach joined the Oklahoma City law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C. as an associate, later becoming a shareholder in 1994.  During his twelve years with the firm, Judge Bacharach focused his practice on commercial litigation, appearing frequently in state and federal courts.  He also served as an adjunct professor with the University of Oklahoma School of Law, where he taught civil pretrial litigation.

Since becoming a United States Magistrate Judge in 1999, Judge Bacharach has handled nearly 3,000 civil and criminal matters.  He has presided over more than 400 judicial settlement conferences and has issued more than 1,600 reports and recommendations in cases involving habeas petitions, prisoner civil rights suits, social security appeals, and other civil matters.  Judge Bacharach has also conducted a variety of pretrial proceedings, including hundreds of detention hearings, issued felony warrants, and presided over hundreds of misdemeanor proceedings.  In addition to his judicial duties, Judge Bacharach has chaired several committees for the Western District of Oklahoma, including the Local Civil Rules Committee and the Criminal Justice Act Committee.

William J. Kayatta, Jr.:  Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

William J. Kayatta, Jr. has been a partner at the law firm of Pierce Atwood LLP, located in Portland, Maine, for over 25 years.  He is also currently serving by special appointment of the Supreme Court of the United States as Special Master in Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, an action involving an interstate water rights dispute. 

Kayatta was raised in South Portland, Maine.  He received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1976 from Amherst College and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1979 from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor and officer of the Harvard Law Review

After graduating from law school, Kayatta clerked for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  After his clerkship ended in 1980, Kayatta joined Pierce Atwood LLP as an associate, becoming a partner in 1986.  While at the firm, his practice has focused on complex trial and appellate litigation.  He has argued two cases to the Supreme Court of the United States and approximately thirty-five cases in state and federal appellate courts.  Kayatta is a regent in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute.  In 2010, the Maine Bar Foundation presented Kayatta with the Howard H. Dana Award for his career-long pro bono efforts on behalf of low-income Maine citizens.  He has also received special recognition awards from the Disability Rights Center of Maine, the Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the Maine Children’s Alliance for his pro bono representation of disabled Maine children.  Kayatta is also a former Chair of the Professional Ethics Commission for Maine lawyers.