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Justice LaShann DeArcy Hall sworn in as 62nd judge in Eastern District of New York

April 4, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Justice LaShann DeArcy Hall was sworn in as the 62nd judge of the Eastern District of New York by Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon at her investiture ceremony on Friday. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Justice LaShann DeArcy Hall was officially sworn in as the 62nd judge of the Eastern District of New York on Friday at her investiture ceremony in front of a packed crowd at the federal courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn.

“LaShann DeArcy Hall brings to our bench her sharp inquisitive mind, her no-nonsense approach to conducting proceedings, her kindness and her ability to make all around her reach for higher heights,” said Chief Justice Carol Bagley Amon. “I feel very blessed to have her as my newest colleague.”

Judge DeArcy Hall received her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and she served three years in the U.S. Air Force before she attended Howard University School of Law. After she graduated in 2000, DeArcy Hall became an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and eventually joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher before she became a partner at Morrison & Foerster.

DeArcy Hall has also served as commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and as a commissioner on the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Bagley Amon administered the Oath of Office to the new justice and DeArcy Hall’s husband, Courtney Hall, and mother, Patricia DeArcy, conducted the robing ceremony. Justice Ann Donnelly then bestowed the court’s giant gavel to DeArcy Hall as the courthouse’s newest judge.

Bagley Amon then read a statement from Sen. Chuck Schumer before remarks finally began with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York State Court of Appeals, who gave her speech via video.

“This is a great day for Judge Hall, her family and her friends and colleagues,” DiFiore said. “Most of all, this is a great day for the public she serves so ably on the bench. Her years as a commercial litigator without a doubt prepare her to preside over the complex and varied cases.”

More personal remarks were then given by Professor Patricia Worthy, who taught DeArcy Hall at Howard; Jamie Levitt, who worked alongside her at Morrison & Foerster; and Aaron Taylor, a professor at St. Louis University School of Law who had gone to law school alongside DeArcy Hall.

“To see your students come in, to see them leave and not know how they’re going to do and wanting them to do well, you can’t imagine being able to stand here and be happy for her,” said Worthy, whose remarks caused DeArcy Hall to break down in tears. “I asked you to fly and you did.”

“Remember I talked about LaShann’s versatility?” Taylor recalled. “She was a classically trained dancer before law school and in law school she became a classically untrained rapper. Judge Dearcy Hall can flow. I’m happy to report that for the last almost-20-years I’ve served as her human beat boxer. We actually reprised our act about three months ago so she was already a judge at the time.”

DeArcy Hall finally got her own turn to speak, and though she had to fight back tears, she talked about how important everyone in her life is to her, especially her mother.

“It is written that to who much is given, much is required,” DeArcy Hall said. “There is no doubt that as I stand here before you, much is required of me today. I did not get here alone. I’m blessed to have a wealth of people and experiences that have made all of this possible. My path was paved with the stones that were laid and maintained by the people in this room.”

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