East Bay lawyer will help vet judicial nominees

An employment, consumer fraud and civil rights lawyer from Piedmont is the latest addition to a bipartisan commission that recommends nominations for federal judgeships.

jack-w-lee.jpgU.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has announced her appointment of Jack Wing Lee, 56, to the Parsky Commission’s Northern District Panel. The Parsky Commission was created in 2001 as senators Boxer and Dianne Feinstein struck a deal with the Bush Administration for input in recommending nominations. It’s comprised of four six-member subcommittees -– one for each of the state’s judicial districts — and each subcommittee has one member selected by Boxer, one by Feinstein and one jointly by both Senators, while the other three members are named by Gerald Parsky, a Los Angeles investor and major GOP mover and shaker who has held appointments in every Republican administration since Nixon’s.

“I am very pleased that Jack has agreed to take on this important responsibility of helping select highly-qualified, moderate judicial candidates for the federal bench,” Boxer said in her news release. “I am confident that Jack will bring the experience of his long and diverse career to the process. I also want to thank Michael Ohleyer for his fine service on the Parsky Commission these past several years.”

Lee replaces Ohleyer, a San Francisco attorney.

Lee is a partner at San Francisco’s Minami Tamaki LLP; earlier, he worked on complex class-action civil rights cases with Saperstein & Seligman in Oakland. Earlier yet, he was an attorney for the nonprofit Asian Law Caucus; the San Francisco Public Defenders Office; and regional attorney for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, where he worked on discrimination and desegregation issues in the school system. He has been active with various legal and Asian community organizations, and chaired the City of Oakland Civil Service Commission from 1992 to 1996; he graduated Phi Betta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973 and earned his law degree from the UC Hastings Law School in 1976.

Federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to lifetime terms on the bench.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.