Tiffany P. Cunningham Confirmed As First African American Judge on Federal Circuit

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Tiffany P. Cunningham will make history as the first African American judge to sit on the Federal Circuit. She was nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was confirmed 63-33 by the Senate this past Monday.

Cunningham began her legal career at the U.S. Federal Circuit in 2001 where she clerked for then-Judge Timothy Dyk. She was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis partner from 2007 until 2014 before she became a partner at Perkins Coie. She serves as a member of the Perkins Coie’s firm’s 17-member Executive Committee on Patent Litigation receiving a well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin praised Cunningham’s track record in a June committee meeting

“She’s been an intellectual property litigator for almost two decades working on every aspect of patent litigation from the inception of the case through discovery, trial and appeal,” Durbin said. “In addition, she’s represented clients from a number of fields as both plaintiffs and defendants.

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Cunningham replaces Judge Evan Wallach on the bench, who will assume senior status after his 10-year term of service.

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