THE HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION OF D.C. HONORS JUDGE VANESSA RUIZ
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Posted by: Michael Gonzalez
On November 17, 2011, HBA-DC celebrated Judge Vanessa Ruiz's seventeen years as an Associate Judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The celebration commenced with an educational panel detailing Judge Ruiz's and Judge Puig-Lugo's "Reflections on the Pathway to Judicial Service," where they discussed why they wanted to be judges and the challenges and opportunities that were presented to them along the way. Following the educational panel, a reception was held honoring Judge Ruiz.
Judge Ruiz is the first and only Hispanic to serve on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Judge Ruiz is a graduate of Georgetown Law Center and successfully argued Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363 (1982), an important civil rights case when only five years out of law school, making her one of the first Latinas to argue before the United States Supreme Court. Judge Ruiz spent nearly twenty years in private practice before becoming Corporation Counsel (now Attorney General) to the District of Columbia and was appointed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1994. While on the Court, Judge Ruiz has been active in numerous organizations, including service as a past president to the National Association of Women Judges. She is also a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Judge Ruiz has been awarded the Ricardo M. Urbina Lifetime Achievement Award by the HBA-DC and been named Judge of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association. The Blog of Legal Times (BLT) covered the event: http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/11/too-few-hispanic-judges-in-dc-retiring-judge-says.html#tp