In a unanimous vote, the Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Judge Evan Wallach as Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In the mid-1990’s Wallach was appointed by President Clinton as an Article III judge on the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) – handling disputes regarding import transactions and federal statutes affecting international trade. Although the court has limited subject matter jurisdiction, the CIT otherwise has general legal and equitable powers. Judge Wallach is already familiar with Federal Circuit judges and Federal Circuit practice because CIT decisions are appealed to the Federal Circuit. In addition to his work in international trade, Judge Wallach is recognized as a leading expert on the international law of war. During a decade of private practice, Wallach represented business and media interests at the Las Vegas firm of Lionel Sawyer. He is a Vietnam War veteran (army) and later served as a Judge Advocate General. In the 1980’s Wallach also served as counsel for Senator Harry Reid. He holds degrees from Arizona (Journalism), Berkeley (JD), and Cambridge (LLB).
While Judge Wallach does not have extensive experience handling patent law issues. He did preside over a two-week patent infringement jury trial in Nevada. Mikohn Gaming Corp. v. Acres Gaming Inc., No. CV-S-97-1383 (D. Nev. Aug. 2, 2001). In that case, the jury found the patent infringed and awarded $1.5 million in damages.
In his responses to questions from the Senate, Judge Wallach indicated his view that the “most important attribute of a judge” is: “Commitment to fundamental rule of law principles, including predictability, uniformity, transparency, neutrality and stare decisis.”