Judicial Council - Chair Message

Judge Manuel profile

Greetings to the lawyers and judges of the Washington Bar Association and the Washington, D.C. community.  It is my distinct honor and pleasure to serve as Chair of the Judicial Council Division of the WBA for the 2016 – 2017 term.  We have another outstanding year planned for our members and supporters that will include excellent, professional education programs, as well as student-mentoring programs focused on communities in need.

As with most ambitious projects, our work at the WBA Judicial Council is only accomplished through the dedicated and concerted effort of our volunteer judges and their staffs.  I want to express my deep gratitude to my predecessor, Judge Fern Flanaghan Saddler and her predecessor, Magistrate Judge Errol Arthur, both of whom served two consecutive terms as Chair of the Judicial Council, and provided excellent leadership during their tenures.

I also want to thank all of the members of the executive board as well as our entire membership for their dedication and support of the WBA.  In 1848, Judge Macon Bolling Allen became the first African-American judge in America.  He began his law practice in the state of Maine, but eventually took up practice in Washington, D.C., where he later retired.  He had much to overcome in those days, but overcome he did.  Now here, 168 years later, and through their hard work and dedication, my colleagues continue to honor legal pioneers like Judge Allen, Charles Hamilton Houston, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Chief Judge Constance Baker Motley, Chief Judge Spottswood William Robinson III, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., and so many others who have gone before.

The judges here have set the bar very high, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am very fortunate to be supported by a team that is tried and true.  With Judges Robert Rigsby, Wendell Gardner, Errol Arthur, Claudia Crichlow, Denise Wilson-Taylor, Sherri Beatty-Arthur, and others chairing our committees, I have no doubt that the Washington legal community can look forward to another excellent year of insightful and innovative, judicial programming.

We encourage all judges who support scholarship, civil rights, and the goals of the Washington Bar Association to join us in helping to promote justice, diversity, and equality for the Washington D.C. community.

Alex Manuel, Administrative Judge

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Washington, D.C