Judge Bios

Bartnoff, Judith

Appointed: September 16, 1994

Judith Bartnoff has practiced law in Washington, DC for the past twenty years. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when she was very young, and she attended elementary school and high school in Pittsburgh. She then attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University, and received her B.A. degree magna cum laude in History and Literature in 1971. Ms. Bartnoff then studied law at Columbia Law School. She was editor of the Columbia Law Review and was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar during each of her three years at Columbia. She also received the Adolph A. Berle Faculty Assistantship. She received her J.D. degree in 1974.

After graduating from Columbia, Ms. Bartnoff moved to Washington , D.C. to become a Fellow at the Institute for Public Interest Representation at the Georgetown University Law Center. At the Institute, she supervised second and third year law students in civil litigation, with a particular focus on administrative law. She received an LL.M. degree from Georgetown at the conclusion of the fellowship in the spring of 1975. She then went to work at the Council for Public Interest Law–a project concerned with public interest law funding and access to justice issues–where she served as staff attorney for two years. In the summer of 1977, she moved to the United States Department of Justice to become Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Benjamin Civiletti, and in 1978, she became Associate Deputy Attorney General. In that position, among her other duties, she had primary responsibility for developing Federal Standards for Prisons and Jails. She also played a major role in implementing significant changes in the Witness Security Program and served as the Justice Department representative on the President’s Interdepartmental Task Force on Women and on the interagency Task Force established under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

In the summer of 1980, Ms. Bartnoff went to the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she served for five years, representing the United States and federal government agencies in civil litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She received numerous commendations from over twenty federal agencies for her work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and she also received both a Special Achievement Award and the Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
In September 1985, Ms. Bartnoff joined the law firm of Patton, Boggs and Blow. She was a partner in that firm from January 1988 until July 31, 1994, when she resigned to become an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Her practice involved general civil, administrative and regulatory litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, with a particular emphasis on government contracts and other claims involving governmental entities. Ms. Bartnoff is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Claims Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, Eleventh and Federal Circuits.

From January 1993 until she went on the bench, Ms. Bartnoff also served as an Associate Independent Counsel in the investigation of the circumstances of the search of President Clinton’s passport files prior to the 1992 election. Ms. Bartnoff was a member of the Committee on Pro Se Litigation of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 1991 until she was appointed to the Superior Court. She also has been a member o f the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia Circuit and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Ms. Bartnoff is the daughter of Shepard Bartnoff and the late Irene Bartnoff. She is married to Eugene F. Sofer and has one son, Nelson Bartnoff Sofer, who is five years old.