Thacker officially nominated by Obama

Chris Dickerson Sep. 9, 2011, 8:00am


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - President Barack Obama on Thursday officially nominated Charleston attorney Stephanie Thacker to fill an opening on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

"Stephanie Dawn Thacker has displayed exceptional dedication to the legal profession through her work and I am honored to nominate her to serve the American people as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals," Obama said. "She will be a diligent, judicious and esteemed addition to the Fourth Circuit bench."

The West Virginia Record first reported the impending nomination in July.

Thacker, who grew up in Hamlin, W.Va., is currently a partner at the law firm of Guthrie & Thomas in Charleston, where she specializes in complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and criminal defense. She also teaches as an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University School of Law.

If approved, Thacker would replace Judge M. Blane Michael, who died earlier this year.

After graduating law school, Thacker spent two years in the Pittsburgh office of the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart. In 1992, after working briefly in the West Virginia Attorney General's office, Thacker joined the law firm of King, Betts & Allen, which now is Guthrie & Thomas.

She rejoined the firm in 2006 after having served as a federal prosecutor for 12 years both in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and in the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

During her tenure with the United States Attorney's Office, Thacker was part of the trial team that prosecuted the first case in the country brought under the Violence Against Women Act -- United States v. Bailey. She tried numerous other cases, including money laundering, fraud, firearms, and tax evasion matters. She also coordinated a number of prosecution initiatives directed to combating domestic violence, criminal non-payment of child support and federal coal mine safety violations.

During her time with the Department of Justice, Thacker tried cases in multiple jurisdictions, spearheaded several nationwide initiatives, and conducted training on prosecution and trial techniques around the country and around the world. As a result, she was ultimately charged with managing the entire litigation and training work load for the Child Exploitation Section of the Department of Justice.

Thacker has received numerous awards for her work, including the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest given within the Department, for her role in the prosecution and trial of Dwight York, the leader of a worldwide pseudo-religious organization who molested countless children.

Thacker's practice concentrates on complex litigation, including toxic tort, and criminal defense.

She received her bachelor's degree from Marshall University in 1987, and her law degree from West Virginia University's College of Law in 1990.

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