OU Law Assistant Dean Scott Palk Nominated for Federal Bench

December 16, 2015 | By Mackenzie Dilbeck, Director of Communications

Media Contact: 
Mackenzie A. Dilbeck
(405) 325-2227
mdilbeck@ou.edu

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2015

President Obama Nominates Four to Serve on the United States District Courts    

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Judge Paul Lewis Abrams, Judge Suzanne Mitchell, Scott L. Palk and Ronald G. Russell to serve on the United States District Courts.

“I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama.  “I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.” 

Judge Paul Lewis Abrams:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Paul Lewis Abrams has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California since 2002, where he also serves as a judicial officer in the court’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives Program.  Prior to his appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Abrams served as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Los Angeles Federal Public Defender’s Office from 1987 to 2001, where he served as a Supervising Deputy Federal Public Defender from 1992 to 2001.  From 1985 to 1987, he served as the Director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ Valley Rights Project.  He started his legal career as an associate at Jeffer, Mangels & Butler (now Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP), where he worked from 1983 to 1985.  Judge Abrams received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1983 and his A.B. with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979.

Judge Suzanne Mitchell:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma

Judge Suzanne Mitchell has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2013.  Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma from 2010 to 2013.  From 1999 to 2010, she served as a senior law clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Henry of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, for whom she also clerked from 1996 to 1997.  In between her clerkships, Judge Mitchell worked at the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee & Taft from 1997 to 1999.  Judge Mitchell received her J.D. with high honors from George Washington University Law School in 1996 and her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University in 1990. 

Scott L. Palk:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma

Scott L. Palk has served as the Assistant Dean for Students and Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law since 2011.  In addition to overseeing admissions and providing legal counsel, Palk serves as a consultant to the University’s Threat Assessment Review Committee, advising in areas of criminal threat assessment and legal access. From 2002 to 2011, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, where he held a number of managerial roles beginning in 2004, including Deputy Criminal Chief and Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinator.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Palk served as an Assistant District Attorney for Cleveland County in Norman, Oklahoma from 1992 to 2002, where he served as the First Assistant District Attorney from 1999 to 2002.  Palk received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1992 and his B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1989.

Ronald G. Russell:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Utah

Ronald G. Russell is a shareholder in the Salty Lake City law firm of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, where he specializes in commercial litigation and real estate law.  He joined the law firm as an associate in 1983 and was elevated to partner in 1988.  Russell has spent the entirety of his legal career at Parr Brown, with the exception of a one-year period in 1984 when he served as a law clerk to the Honorable David K. Winder of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.  Russell has also served for twelve years as a part-time elected official in local government, including one four-year term as a council member on the Centerville City Council from 1998 to 2001, as well as two consecutive terms as Mayor of Centerville from 2006 to 2013.  Russell received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1983 and his B.A. cum laude from Weber State College in 1980.

Updated 06/02/2017 by OU Law: lawcommunications@ou.edu

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