Christian, Erik P.
Appointed: April 4, 2001
Judge Erik P. Christian was nominated by President George W. Bush on April 4, 2001, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. On May 31, 2001, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination, and Judge Christian was sworn in by Chief Judge Annice M. Wagner, then Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on July 9, 2001.
Judge Christian was born and raised in the District of Columbia. He graduated from St. Martin’s Elementary School, and with distinction from Archbishop John Carroll High School. Judge Christian graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science, magna cum laude from Howard University in 1982, where he was elected in his junior year as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and later inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha. In 1986, Judge Christian received his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Following his service as a criminal investigator for the D.C. Public Defender Service, and the Criminal Justice Act defense bar, Judge Christian began his legal career with the law firm of Webster & Fredrickson. At that firm, he served as a law clerk and later was employed as an associate with a practice in the areas of general litigation, real estate and bankruptcy law. Judge Christian then served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Annice M. Wagner in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1989, Judge Christian was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he initially served in the Appellate Division, and argued cases in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Judge Christian also served in the Misdemeanor Trial, Felony Trial and Grand Jury Sections of the Superior Court Division and the Federal Narcotics Section of the Criminal Division before being selected to serve as a prosecutor in the Homicide Section. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Misdemeanor Trial Section in the Superior Court Division, where he supervised approximately 30 trial prosecutors, and was in charge of recruiting and reviewing attorney applicants from other federal agencies to serve as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys prosecuting cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
In 1995, Judge Christian was appointed First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands. In that position, he was second in command to the United States Attorney, and also served as Chief of the Criminal Division in that District. In addition to his administrative and supervisory positions, Judge Christian prosecuted certain complex local and federal cases. In 1997, he returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia, prosecuting several high-profile homicide cases.
As a prosecutor, Judge Christian received numerous special achievement awards and other awards for his trial and managerial accomplishments. Judge Christian has also served as a guest lecturer at several area law schools. He has also lectured and provided training to law practitioners by serving as a trial instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at the Georgetown University Law Center and with the District of Columbia Criminal Practice Institute.
Following his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Christian was appointed by District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams as the first Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, where he oversaw several agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, the Department of Corrections, the Emergency Management Agency, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. During his tenure as Deputy Mayor, the city experienced a steady reduction in Part One offenses or major crimes. The city also experienced a reduction in response time of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to critical calls for emergency services.
Judge Christian was also instrumental in reinstating the Citizen Complaint Review Board that provided the public with an independent and impartial forum for the review and resolution of complaints lodged against officers of the Metropolitan Police Department and Special Police Officers of the District of Columbia. As Deputy Mayor, Judge Christian, through the Mayor, re-instituted and served as Chair of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which served as a forum for identifying solutions that would improve public safety and the related criminal and juvenile justice services in the District of Columbia. Judge Christian was also tasked with serving as Chair of the Mayor’s Nuisance Abatement Task Force, comprised of federal and local agencies that were charged with identifying and abating dilapidated and nuisance properties. This task force was instrumental in the overall revitalization of the District of Columbia. As Deputy Mayor, Judge Christian also served as the executive branch’s liaison to the federal justice agencies that provided services to the District of Columbia.
Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Christian served as Legal Counsel to Mayor Williams. He was responsible for drafting legal opinions and memoranda, and providing oral advice to the Mayor on a variety of legal issues and legislation considered by the executive and legislative branches. Based upon his trial expertise and through an extension of his work as Chair of the Nuisance Abatement Task Force, Judge Christian was designated to prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the Office of the Corporation Counsel (re-designated as the Office of the Attorney General), where District of Columbia landlords refused or failed to maintain their properties in habitable conditions in compliance with housing code laws and regulations. As legal counsel, Judge Christian also performed a variety of other special assignments personally designated by the Mayor.
Judge Christian has been active in bar activities and community service. He was appointed to serve as a Committee member and later as Chair of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He has also served on the District of Columbia Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. As a member of the judiciary, Judge Christian is a member of the Washington Bar Association Judicial Council where he served as Chair-elect and Chairman from 2004 to 2005. On the Court, he serves as a member on the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee, the Criminal Justice Act Implementation Committee, the Advisory Committee for the Selection of Attorneys and Duty-Day Attorneys for District of Columbia and Traffic Cases, the Superior Court Jury Committee, the Art Trust Fund and the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Judge Christian has served as a mentor to elementary school children, and he annually participates in the Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law Society Judicial Forum at his alma mater Howard University where students are prepared for futures in the legal profession.