The Honorable Denny Chin
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Denny Chin is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was sworn in on April 26, 2010.
Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975 and received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1978. After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1982 until 1986, when he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin. In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.
From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan’s Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken’s use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books settlement, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin, as well as the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.
Judge Chin has taught legal writing at Fordham Law School since 1986. While in private practice, he provided extensive pro bono representation to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York from January 1992 through January 1994. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including Hartley House, Care for the Homeless, the Clinton Housing Association, the Prospect Park Environmental Center, and the Fordham Law Alumni Association.
Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong. He was the first Asian American appointed a United States District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. As of March 2011, he was the only federal appellate judge of Asian American descent on active status in the country.