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D. Michael Fisher


Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Adjunct Professor of Law

A.B., J.D., Georgetown

Judge Fisher is a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was nominated by President George W. Bush...

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Judge Fisher is a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in December 2003. Prior to becoming a judge, he was elected Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 1996 and re-elected in 2000. Judge Fisher personally argued major cases in state and federal appellate courts. In March 1998, he successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court a precedent-setting case ensuring that paroled criminals meet the conditions of their release. Before his election as Attorney General, Judge Fisher was in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, serving six years in the State House and 16 years as a member of the State Senate. He was a member of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Majority Whip of the Senate. In 2002, Judge Fisher was the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. He began his legal career in his hometown of Pittsburgh following his graduation from Georgetown University in 1966 and Georgetown University Law Center in 1969. As an Assistant District Attorney for Allegheny County, he handled nearly 1,000 cases, including 25 homicides. He continued to practice law during his career in the General Assembly and was a shareholder or partner in various firms, including Houston Harbaugh, where he practiced from 1984 to 1997. Judge Fisher served for six years on the Budget Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference, now serves on the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction, and is a Board member of the Federal Judges Association. Judge Fisher currently chairs the PBA’s Federal Practice Committee, the Third Circuit Attorney Disciplinary Committee, is a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council and is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Law, where he has also served the University as a Commonwealth Trustee and currently is an Emeritus Trustee.

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