The Honorable Anita Josey-Herring was appointed to the bench in November 1997 by President William Clinton. As an Associate Judge, she served in the Family, Civil and Criminal Divisions of the court. In 2000, Judge Josey-Herring was appointed by the Chief Judge to serve as the Deputy Presiding Judge of the Family Court and later served as the Presiding Judge of the Family Court from 2006 through 2008.
Chief Judge Josey-Herring is a 1987 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. While attending Georgetown as an evening division student, she was a member of the Legal Ethics Law Journal and was employed full time in various legal support positions. Chief Judge Josey-Herring obtained a judicial clerkship position with the Honorable Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. in Superior Court of the District of Columbia. As a judicial clerk, she worked on a variety of civil law issues including family law, contract disputes, and landlord and tenant issues. In 1988, Chief Judge Josey-Herring joined the District of Columbia Public Defender Service as a staff attorney. While in the trial division, she handled a heavy caseload and litigated juvenile, misdemeanor and felony cases in the Superior Court and supervised staff attorneys. She also served in the Public Defender Service’s appellate division arguing cases before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In 1994, while handling serious felonies and homicide cases, Chief Judge Josey-Herring was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Public Defender Service to the position of Deputy Director of the agency. As Deputy Director, Chief Judge Josey-Herring assisted the Director in all aspects of management and administration, including budgetary decision-making and supervision of agency staff. She also directly supervised the Investigations Divisions, the Prisoner Rights Program, and the Criminal Justice Act Office that is responsible for coordinating the appointment of counsel in all criminal cases in the District of Columbia. In addition, she administered the agency’s grant funded programs and coordinated the attorney and law clerk hiring programs. She also monitored the agency’s personnel policies for compliance with personnel law and handled personnel matters along with the Director. In addition, she testified before the District of Columbia City Council on proposed criminal law legislation and other matters.
During her service in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Chief Judge Josey-Herring has led numerous initiatives to improve the quality of justice and service to litigants and attorneys alike. She led the highly regarded Family Treatment Court Initiative that provides drug treatment and social services to mothers charged with neglecting their children due to substance abuse. Additionally, Chief Judge Josey-Herring presided over the Family Treatment Court calendar from its inception and collaborated with District agencies to deliver services to parents and children in the neglect system. She also presided over the Juvenile Drug Court prior to the establishment of the Family Treatment Court. Chief Judge Josey-Herring played a significant role in the development and implementation of the D.C. Family Court and implemented numerous programs, in her role as Deputy Presiding and later Presiding Judge of Family Court, to improve the quality of justice provided to District families.
Chief Judge Josey-Herring has also served on numerous committees, including the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Rules Committee, the Criminal Justice Act Panels Committee, the Committee on Appointment of Magistrate Judges, the Court’s Privacy and Access Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and was the Chair of the Superior Court Judicial Education Training Committee. In 2007, Chief Judge Josey-Herring was appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia as a Commissioner on the Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges, which she ultimately chaired.
She is also a former board member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and has participated in numerous extracurricular activities over the course of her legal career. She has received many awards in recognition of her service to citizens of the District of Columbia.