Press Release

February 16, 2011

I was pleased to recommend Jimmie Reyna to President Obama for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Mr. Reyna comes to this committee with 23 years of experience in international trade law.  Mr. Reyna currently is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Williams Mullen.  Mr. Reyna directs the firm’s Trade and Customs Practice Group, as well as the firm’s Latin America Task Force, and has also served for several years on his firm’s Board of Directors, where he currently serves as vice president.

In his practice, Mr. Reyna handles matters before the various federal agencies, and represents clients before the Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and foreign governmental, administrative, and judicial bodies.  He also serves on the roster of dispute settlement panelists for trade disputes under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Mechanism.

Mr. Reyna has also authored several articles and two books on international trade issues, and his third book on the subject is due to be published this spring.  His experience in trade law would bring important expertise to the Federal Circuit, a unique court with nationwide jurisdiction that deals with many trade law issues and yet currently lacks a trade specialist.

Mr. Reyna was admitted to the New Mexico Bar in 1979, and the District of Columbia bar in 1994.  He received his J.D. from University of New Mexico School of Law, and his BA from University of Rochester.  The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary evaluated Mr. Reyna’s nomination, and rated him unanimously well qualified, the highest possible rating.

Mr. Reyna’s personal history is compelling.  Born in New Mexico to a modest family, his missionary parents instilled in him a belief that all people are equal, a principle he has exemplified in his work to ensure that all people are treated fairly in our legal system.  After law school, he worked as a litigator at a firm in Albuquerque, and later established his own practice dealing with domestic relations, civil rights, tort, and criminal defense matters.  In his practice, he often represented clients
pro bono, devoting a large portion of his time to providing advice and representing individuals who could not afford legal assistance.

A few years later, Mr. Reyna moved with his family to Washington, D.C. metro area, where he built his well-regarded career in international trade.

Mr. Reyna has continually proven that he is an outstanding and civic-minded person.  Mr. Reyna is a well-known national leader in U.S. Hispanic affairs.  He has held various leadership positions in the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”), including national president, vice president of regional affairs, regional president, and chair of the International Law Committee.  During his term as National President of HNBA, Mr. Reyna launched the association’s first-every community outreach program called “The Promise in the Law,” which was designed to instill trust and confidence in the U.S. legal system by the Hispanic communities. Mr. Reyna also created “The HNBA Journal of Law and Policy,” the HNBA’s first law journal, which addresses policy and legal issues affecting the Hispanic community. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, an organization that includes the country’s 29 largest leading Hispanic organizations.

Mr. Reyna is also a founder and a member of the board of directors of the U.S.-Mexico Law Institute.  He has received multiple awards for his service to the Hispanic community, including the 2009 Ohtli Medal Award, Mexico’s highest award for a non-Mexican citizen.  Through his work, Mr. Reyna has strived to ensure that members of disadvantaged communities are informed about the law, that the legal community is prepared to handle the legal challenges facing the growing Latino community, and that the judiciary remains strongly independent, impartial, and accessible to all.

Mr. Reyna’s civil service is not limited to his work for the Hispanic community.  He has been recognized by the Court of International Trade for his extensive
pro bono work before that court.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children Foundation.

Mr. Reyna’s nomination would also bring much-needed diversity to the Federal Circuit.  Throughout his career, Mr. Reyna has shown a strong commitment to diversity and racial equality, not only through his service to the Hispanic community, but also through his service on the ABA Presidential Commission on Diversity in the Legal Profession, and as chair of the Williams Mullen Diversity Committee.  If Mr. Reyna is confirmed, he would be the first minority to serve on the Federal Circuit in its history.  With the nomination of Mr. Reyna, the Senate has another opportunity to further increase the diversity of the federal bench.

Because of his vast qualifications, Mr. Reyna’s nomination has received support from various organizations and individuals, including the HNBA and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  Additionally, seven former Chairs of the American Bar Association Section on International Law wrote a letter of endorsement for Mr. Reyna, affirming that Mr. Reyna has “the professional credentials, the experience and skills, the appropriate temperament, and the fair and sound judgment” to serve on the Federal Circuit. 

And, last but certainly not least, Mr. Reyna is a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, and a constituent of mine.

In conclusion I urge this Committee to favorably approve Mr. Reyna’s nomination to be a US Circuit Judge for Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and to send his nomination to the full Senate for consideration on the floor.  Thank you.