The Honorable Patti B. Saris
Date: 6:00pm PST February 18, 2014 Location: Legal Reserach Center, Faculty Reading Room
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Legal Reserach Center, Faculty Reading Room
THE HONORABLE PATTI B. SARIS became Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on January 1, 2013. She became Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C., in January 2011. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College ’73 (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School ’76 (cum laude).
After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and then went into private practice. When Senator Edward M. Kennedy became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as staff counsel. She later became an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and eventually chief of the Civil Division. In 1986, Judge Saris became a U.S. Magistrate Judge, and in 1989, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 1994, she was appointed to the U.S. District Court.
Chief Judge Saris became President of the Harvard Board of Overseers in 2006 and has served on visiting committees to Harvard College and Harvard University’s Law School, Education School, and Kennedy School of Government. Chief Judge Saris has been active on various judicial committees, including the Budget Committee and the Defender Services Committee, which she chaired in 2005. She also serves on the Board of the Federal Judges Association.
She has received awards for judicial excellence from the Boston Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Patent Bar Association, and is a recipient of the Harvard Medal.
She has authored various publications, including Congress: The First Branch of Government (1983) (co-authored with Hon. Abner Mikva), and Breaking Barriers, The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts (2012) (co-authored with Justice Margot Botsford and Barbara Berenson).
Judge Saris has handled many intellectual property cases during her time on the bench. She is a frequent and outspoken speaker on patent issues. Judge Saris has also sat by designation with the federal circuit.
CLE: This program has applied for 1.0 general MCLE credit in Oregon and Washington.