PHILADELPHIA, JUNE 18 - Gene E.K. Pratter, a lawyer with Duane Morris LLP for 30 years, was sworn in today as a judge of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The ceremony took place at 2 p.m. at the United States Courthouse in Philadelphia, where Judge Pratter will serve.
Judge Pratter was General Counsel of Duane Morris and worked in commercial litigation, professional liability litigation, as well as employment contract and insurance coverage litigation.
"Gene's new position as a federal judge is a testament to her outstanding ability and is the culmination of an outstanding legal career," said Sheldon Bonovitz, Chairman of Duane Morris. "We are sad to lose such an invaluable partner, but there will always be a part of Duane Morris in her and a part of Gene Pratter in Duane Morris. We know she will be a fine addition to the judiciary."
At her confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate on January 22, Ms. Pratter was praised by the two Pennsylvania senators who jointly supported her nomination for the judgeship.
"I am pleased to see my colleagues recognize… Gene Pratter," said Sen. Rick Santorum, Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. "Gene brings diverse experiences and knowledge to the bench, and I am confident she will have a positive and significant impact at the federal level."
"Gene possesses excellent academic credentials, has a distinguished legal career and will make an outstanding contribution to our judicial system," stated Sen. Arlen Specter, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gene E. K. Pratter will join the 35-judge federal district. Her legal career started at Duane Morris in 1975, and she was elected to the partnership in 1983. From 1999 to the present, she served as General Counsel to Duane Morris. She was also Vice-Chair of the firm's Trial Department and was a member of the firm's Partners Board. For almost three decades, she has been a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia bar associations. She is deeply involved in numerous organizations in the areas of legislation, education and community.
Ms. Pratter was nominated for the position as a U.S. District Judge by President George W. Bush on November 3, 2003. Preceding her nomination, she had several interviews at the White House with Alberto Gonzalez, Chief Counsel to the President. On Tuesday, June 15, the Senate unanimously confirmed her as a judge. She is the third career Duane Morris partner to become a federal judge.
The ceremony at the U.S. District Courthouse featured a long list of prominent speakers. These included Sen. Specter and Hon. Marjorie O. Rendell, who is a judge with the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a Duane Morris alumna. Others were Joseph A. Tate, a partner at Dechert LLP; Judith Hammerschmidt, an attorney from Washington D.C., and a friend of Judge Pratter; and Professor Curtis Reitz, who taught Ms. Pratter at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Fellow Duane Morris attorney and firm vice chair, David T. Sykes, also spoke at the event and the Hon. James Giles, Chief Judge of the District Court, swore her into office.
The ceremonies were attended by Judge Pratter's husband, Robert L. Pratter, their daughter and son, Paige and Matthew Pratter, and her parents and family from Southern California. Mr. Pratter and the younger Ms. Pratter are both attorneys.
About Duane Morris
Duane Morris LLP, one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States, is a full-service firm of approximately 550 lawyers. In addition, Duane Morris affiliates have approximately 50 professionals engaged in ancillary service businesses. The firm represents clients across the nation and around the world through a combination of more than 20 offices and relationships with two international networks of independent law firms.