January 5, 2022
Re: Letter of Support for The Honorable Todd Edelman, Nominee for Appointment to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Dear Mr. Bouker:
Washington Council of Lawyers is pleased to submit this letter in support of the Honorable Todd E. Edelman for appointment to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Edelman’s record, both before and during his ten years of service as an Associate Judge on the DC Superior Court, demonstrates a deep commitment pro bono representation, public interest law, fairness, and impartiality — as well as keen analytical skills and sound judicial decision-making.
Washington Council of Lawyers is a public interest bar association located in the District of Columbia. Our membership includes a broad range of lawyers, legal professionals, law students, and others committed to advancing issues important to the public interest legal community. We base our endorsements on a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to pro bono and public interest law issues, and personal experience in promoting equal access to justice.
Judge Edelman has served as an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia since July 2010, and in January 2021, Judge Edelman became a Deputy Presiding Judge, Civil Division in that court. As a Superior Court judge, he has served in the Civil Division, the Domestic Violence Unit, and the Felony Branch of the Criminal Division. Attorneys appearing before Judge Edelman consistently provided him with positive reviews for his legal acumen and management of legally and factually complex litigation, as well as his judicial temperament, impartiality, and patience. In particular, litigants and counsel have noted the particular efforts he has made to explain the judicial process to pro se litigants and to seek out the assistance of legal services providers to help unrepresented parties in appropriate situations.
During his tenure as Associate Judge, Judge Edelman has addressed access to justice issues as a member of the Court’s Criminal Justice Act Implementation Committee and the Joint Standing Committee on Fairness and Access to the D.C. Courts. More generally, and throughout his legal career, Judge Edelman has amply demonstrated his commitment to public interest law, pro bono work, and community service on behalf of the low-income residents of the District of Columbia. After clerking for Judge William B. Bryant of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Edelman was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he represented low-income adults charged with crimes. As a Fellow, he also taught and supervised third-year law students enrolled in the Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic.
After completing the Prettyman Fellowship, Judge Edelman spent eight years representing low-income individuals as a trial attorney with the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia. He served as Chief of the Agency’s Serious Felony Section from 2002 to 2004, and as Training Director from 2004 to 2005. In recognition of his public service efforts, Harvard Law School awarded Judge Edelman a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship in 2003.
From 2005 to 2008, Judge Edelman was Of Counsel to the firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser PLLC, one of the nation’s leading labor and employment law firms, where he litigated complex civil cases in federal and state courts nationwide. From 2008 and until his appointment to the Superior Court, Judge Edelman was a clinical law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he again taught third-year students enrolled in the Criminal Justice Clinic and supervised new attorneys in the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program.
Judge Edelman served on the Washington Council of Lawyer’s Board of Directors, from 2007 until 2010, and was an elected member of the Steering Committee of the D.C. Bar’s Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section. Reflecting a consistent commitment to community service in our city he also served as a volunteer debate coach at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.
Since his appointment to the Superior Court, Judge Edelman has continued to find new ways to serve the community. He has continued to teach as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and as a member of the teaching faculty at the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop. Judge Edelman also served as a Government Master in the William B. Bryant Inn of Court, a professional legal organization for litigators associated with the National American Inns of Court Foundation, and as Chair of the Programming Committee for the 25th Annual Conference of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.
In sum, Washington Council of Lawyers believes Judge Edelman would be a strong addition to the federal court bench, and we enthusiastically endorse his application for appointment to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Mark L. Kovner
Washington Council of Lawyers