New York, April 3, 2009 — Gerard Lynch '75, the Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a federal district judge for the Southern District of New York since 2000, has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“Professor Lynch is a gifted and popular teacher, whose wisdom and commitment to service inspires colleagues and students alike,” said David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “If confirmed, he would join Professor Deborah Livingston on the Second Circuit bench, continuing a tradition of judicial service to the appellate court in New York by Columbia Law School graduates and faculty that dates back to the court's establishment in 1891 when Emile Henry Lacombe LL.B. 1865, served.”
Lynch will continue to be on the faculty where his principal teaching and research areas include criminal law and procedure, sentencing, and professional responsibility. He has published and lectured on federal racketeering laws, sentencing, plea-bargaining and other aspects of criminal law, constitutional theory, and legal ethics.
Lynch’s professional history began in 1980 as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York until 1983, prosecuting white-collar criminal cases and serving as chief appellate attorney. He returned to that office as chief of the criminal division from 1990 to 1992. He was appointed counsel to numerous city, state, and federal commissions and special prosecutors, investigating public corruption, including the Iran/Contra investigation, where among other responsibilities he briefed and argued the prosecution position in the appeal of Oliver North. Additionally he briefed and argued cases in federal appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, as a cooperating attorney with the American and New York Civil Liberties Union.
Lynch graduated from Columbia University in 1972 and from the Law School in 1975. After clerkships with Judge Wilfred Feinberg and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., he joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 1977. He received the student-voted Willis L. M. Reese Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994 and in 1997 received the University-wide President's Award for Outstanding Teaching, the first Law School faculty recipient of the prize. In November 2008, he received The Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility, which honors individual attorneys who put their resources and legal skills to work for the public good.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.