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Hearing expected soon in Green nomination

Michael C. Green

The nomination of Monroe County District Attorney Michael C. Green for a federal judgeship is before the Senate Judiciary Committee which is expected to schedule a hearing soon.

Answers to the questionnaire are posted on the committee’s website (, along with the recent rating of the American Bar Association. The majority of the association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary finds Green “qualified,” while a minority voted him as “not qualified.”

“The majority rating is the rating of the committee,” according to the association’s introduction.

An ABA spokesman said the minority rating is included to distinguish one nominee over another so if candidates are very similar, reviewers might see one was unanimous and one had a small minority vote that differed.

Green declined to comment. He is seeking a judgeship in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

Judge William M. Skretny, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District said he had not seen the ABA rating and had no comment on it, but that the nomination process is moving forward.

“We are reasonably confident a hearing will be held in the near future,” Judge Skretny said. “We are looking forward to having Mr. Green on board and, as I think everyone in our district knows, there is a very serious need for him to begin hearing cases as soon as possible.”

The extensive evaluation process, as explained on the ABA’s website (, is directed solely to a nominee’s professional qualifications. There are three possible ratings a prospective nominee may receive: “Well qualified,” “qualified,” and “not qualified.” Green’s official rating is qualified which means he satisfies the committee’s “very high standards with respect to integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament, and that the committee believes that the prospective nominee is qualified to perform satisfactorily all of the duties and responsibilities required of a federal judge.”

Green, as noted in his 92-page answer to the personal data questionnaire, has never served as a judge. More than 99 percent of his professional experience has been in criminal matters with less than 1 percent in civil proceedings. His entire court experience has been in state-level courts.

Green, a native of Rochester, has been with the district attorney’s office since 1987, serving as district attorney since 2004.

He is on the board of numerous local civic organizations and the recipient of many professional and civic awards. He has written for numerous legal publications and professional reports and been a guest essayist in various newspapers, including The Daily Record, which is listed among the more than 1,000 interviews given to media outlets in the last 23 years.

Green, a 1986 graduate of Western New England College School of Law, began his legal career as a law clerk and associate attorney for Morris & Morris before joining the district attorney’s office.

“For the last 23 years, my ‘client’ has been the people of the state of New York,” he wrote in his questionnaire. “I have specialized in homicide and violent felony prosecutions.”

He notes he has prosecuted thousands of cases since 1987 and tried 110 felony matters including approximately 40 homicide cases.

Green’s nomination is to fill a vacancy created in March 2009 when U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer assumed senior status. Judge Larimer will continue serving, but senior status allows him to serve on a part-time basis. He has been serving full time in the congested district.

Erica Chabot, judiciary press secretary for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which will conduct the hearing on Green’s nomination, said the Senate is in recess next week. She said there may be a nomination hearing the following week, although that doesn’t mean Green will be included. She said candidates for the next hearing and a list of witnesses could be decided next week.

Green, who was nominated by President Barack Obama on Jan. 26, will have to appear before the committee in Washington, D.C., and answer questions put to him by members. After the hearing, the record remains open for a week during which members may submit additional questions for nominees to answer.

Once the committee is satisfied, it can put the matter on the agenda for an executive business meeting, usually conducted weekly on Thursdays. If a majority votes in favor of the nomination, it can be forwarded to the full Senate for vote. If the full Senate agrees, the nominee is confirmed.