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Lara Montecalvo ’00 Nominated for First Circuit

RI Public Defender Is Biden's pick for Court of Appeals.


UPDATE: June 16, 2022. The US Senate Committee on the Judiciary approved Public Defender Lara Montecalvo’s nomination to the federal appeals court. The vote was 12 to 10 with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina the lone Republican voting along with all Democrats on the committee in support of Montecalvo to fill the vacancy created by 1st US Circuit Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson assuming senior status

In April, President Biden announced his nomination of Boston College Law School’s Lara E. Montecalvo to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Montecalvo has served as the Public Defender of Rhode Island since 2020, overseeing the office that provides legal representation to those who cannot afford a lawyer in criminal proceedings.

Montecalvo received her JD magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2000 and began her career as a trial attorney in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. She joined the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office four years later as a trial attorney, eventually working her way to Assistant Public Defender and Chief of the Appellate Division before reaching the top job.

If confirmed, Montecalvo would replace Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, who announced her decision to take senior status on the First Circuit in July of last year. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit hears all federal appeals for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico.

Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both Democrats from Rhode, recommended Montecalvo to President Biden for nomination.

“Lara Montecalvo is an exceptional public servant with sterling legal credentials and a profound respect for the rule of law. She has practiced law in every court in Rhode Island and earned high marks from her peers across the legal spectrum,” the Senators said in a joint statement. “She is highly qualified for this important position and will bring a unique perspective and diversity of experience to the First Circuit. We urge the Senate to consider and confirm her nomination in a swift and timely manner.”

“Lara has appeared before the Rhode Island Supreme Court several times in the 18 years of my tenure here,” said fellow alum and Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court William P. Robinson III ’75. “She unfailingly impressed me with her knowledge of the pertinent facts and law, and she was always an ardent and eloquent advocate for her clients.  I am certain that she will for many years be a credit to the Court of Appeals and will forever be a credit to the wonderful institution that is Boston College Law School.”