President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the United States District Courts

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama nominated Stephanie A. Finley and Claude J. Kelly III to serve on the United States District Courts.

“Throughout their careers, these nominees have displayed unwavering commitment to justice and integrity,” said President Obama.  “Their records of public service are distinguished and impressive and I am confident that they will serve the American people well from the United States District Court bench.  I am honored to nominate them today.”

Stephanie A. Finley:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Stephanie A. Finley has served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana since 2010.  Prior to her appointment, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in that office from 1995 to 2010, during which she served as Senior Litigation Counsel from 2007 to 2010 and Acting Deputy Criminal Chief from 2008 to 2009.  In addition, Finley has served as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the United States Air Force Reserves since 1995.  She began her legal career serving on active duty as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the United States Air Force from 1991 to 1995.  Finley received her J.D. cum laude from Southern University Law Center in 1991 and her B.S. magna cum laude from Grambling State University in 1988.

Claude J. Kelly III:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Claude J. Kelly III has served as Chief Federal Defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana since 2014.  Prior to his appointment, Kelly was a criminal defense attorney for sixteen years in New Orleans, Louisiana – from 2006 to 2014, he was a solo practitioner and from 1992 to 2000, he served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the office he now leads.  In the six-year period between these two roles, Kelly served as the Director of International Sales for Optimal Healthcare in Miami, Florida from 2000 to 2002 and as a consultant for the International Exchange Group in Washington, D.C. from 2002 to 2006.  Before joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office in 1992, Kelly was the General Manager for two years in his family’s restaurant, Kolb’s German Restaurant.  He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney with the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office from 1987 to 1990.  Kelly received his J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 1987 and his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in 1983.

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