Judge Bios

Harnett, Andrea

Andrea Harnett was installed as a Magistrate Judge of the Superior Court of the District

of Columbia in January 1985 by the Honorable H. Carl Moultrie I.

Judge Harnett graduated from Northwestern University and from Columbia Law School,

after being named a Harlan Fiske Scholar. As a very active law student, she participated in the

Greenhaven Prison Legal Assistance Project, held a New York City Court clerkship with the

Honorable Mary Johnson Lowe, and served as a student intern in the Official Corruption Unit of

the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Following law school, Judge Harnett began work as an Assistant United States Attorney,

serving in this capacity until her appointment to the Superior Court. She rose to positions of

increasing responsibility, including rotations through Superior Court Misdemeanor Trials,

Grand Jury, Felony Trials, and Career Criminal Units, as well as the Appellate Division, and

the United State District Court Criminal Trials and Special Proceedings Units, and finally as the

first Chief of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit. As the Chief of this unit, she had the unique

opportunity of acting as a liaison between community groups and the prosecutor’s office.

As the representative of the United States Attorney, Judge Harnett also served on many

Superior Court committees, including the Mental Health Rules committee, the Ugast Committee

on Forensics Procedures, the Prisoner Movement Committee, the Victims of Violent Crime

Compensation Act of 1981 Committee, and the Emergency Interpreter Program Committee.

While serving as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Harnett has worked in the Criminal, Family,

and Civil Divisions, and the Domestic Violence Unit, of the Superior Court. She was one of the

founders of the unique and innovative Domestic Violence Unit and developed an expertise in the

civil and criminal responses to domestic violence. In 2004, she helped to organize the court’s

Domestic Violence Arraignment Court. She has spoken to many groups and attended many

conferences in this field, as a student and as a faculty member.

As a Magistrate Judge, she participates in many court committees, including the Criminal

Rules Committee, the Security Committee, and the city-wide Criminal Justice Coordinating

Council Pre-Trial Systems Subcommittee. For years she was an active member of the Domestic

Violence Implementation Committee.

Judge Harnett has participated in programs at the Gallaudet College Criminal Justice

Clinic, American University College of Law, and the Georgetown University Street Law Project.

She has spoken at local schools and at community meetings about crime, domestic violence and

the court system.

Judge Harnett is married to Benjamin Fisherow, an attorney and manager at the U.S.

Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section. They have two sons – Simon, a law

student, and Michael, a geographer.