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Judge Debra A. Livingston

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Confirmed on May 9, 2007
  • Debra A. Livingston was confirmed on May 9, 2007 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which hears appeals from the federal district courts of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.
  • Debra A. Livingston is a highly respected law professor at Columbia University with experience as a commercial litigator and federal prosecutor.
  • Ms. Livingston has an impressive 14-year record as a law professor at two of the nation’s leading law schools.
    • From 1994 until her appointment as a judge, Ms. Livingston taught at Columbia Law School, becoming a full professor in 2000 and the Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law in 2004. She taught classes in criminal procedure, evidence, and national security and terrorism.
    • From 1992 to 1994, Ms. Livingston taught courses in criminal procedure and evidence at the University of Michigan Law School.
    • Ms. Livingston is the co-author of the casebook Comprehensive Criminal Procedure, which has received praise for its attention to the real-world impact of criminal procedure.
    • Ms. Livingston has published numerous scholarly articles in the field of criminal law and procedure.
  • Ms. Livingston has valuable experience as a law clerk, federal prosecutor, and civil litigator.
    • Ms. Livingston served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
    • She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1986 to 1991, where she handled criminal cases, including the prosecution of Ferdinand Marcos, former president of the Philippines, and his wife, Imelda, on racketeering charges. From 1990 to 1991, she served as a Deputy Chief of Appeals, briefing cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and preparing other Assistant U.S. Attorneys for argument.
    • During her tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she argued five times before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
    • From 1985 to 1986 and from 1991 to 1992, she practiced with the New York City law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where she specialized in commercial litigation cases in state and federal courts.
  • Ms. Livingston has outstanding academic credentials. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where she was a National Merit Scholar. She also graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor on the Law Review.
  • Ms. Livingston has provided significant pro bono and community service during her career.
    • From 1994 to 2003, she served as an appointed commissioner on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency responsible for investigating citizen complaints brought against city police officers for misconduct. As a commissioner, she sat on three-person panels that reviewed case reports prepared by investigators and recommended discipline to the city’s police commissioner.
    • Ms. Livingston devoted more than 600 pro bono hours to serving as an associate counsel in the case of Giarratano v. Murray, in which Virginia death row inmates asserted that they had a constitutional right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings.