Judge Bios

Keary, Ann O'Regan

Judge Ann O’Regan Keary was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1992 by President George H. W. Bush. Judge Keary was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended public schools and graduated from the Girls’ Latin School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Wellesley College in 1971, where she was a Wellesley College Scholar, and her law degree, with honors, from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1974.

After graduation, Judge Keary served as judicial clerk to the Honorable Joyce Hens Green, then on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia bench. In 1976, she joined the Office of Legal Advisor (general counsel) at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital. In 1984, Judge Keary was appointed Chief of the Office and subsequently acted as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the handling of mental health litigation conducted by the Office.

From 1984 to 1987, Judge Keary served as the Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital liaison to the District of Columbia Mental Health System Reorganization Office, charged with the development of the District’s new mental health delivery system. She received a special recognition award from the U.S. Public Health Service for her work in the transfer of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital from the federal to the District of Columbia government, which occurred in 1987. At that time, Judge Keary was appointed Deputy Corporation Counsel for the newly created Mental Health Division with the Office of Corporation Counsel (now the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia), a position she held until her appointment to the bench.

Judge Keary also served as the District of Columbia’s representative to the National Association of State Mental Health Attorneys. She has been a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Women’s Bar, the D.C. Bar Health Law Section, and the National Attorneys of Washington (IHHAW), of which she served as co-chair from 1985-1988. She has also served as a Master of the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court and served on the Board of the Medical Society of Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital – Commission on Mental Health Services from 1989-1991.

Throughout her career Judge Keary has been active in legal educational activities. She has lectured frequently, on issues related to law and psychiatry, to legal and professional groups both in the District and on a national level. She has also published writings on issues related to criminal law and its interface with psychiatry and was a lecturer on health law at the George Washington University National Law Center from 1985-1990.

Since becoming a judge in 1992 Judge Keary has served in Criminal, Civil and Family assignments at the court and has been active in court administration functions as well. In 2007, she became Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. She is the chairperson of the court’s Pre-Trial Mental Examination Committee and the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Rules Advisory Committee. Additionally, she has co-chaired, since its inception, the D.C. Court’s Strategic Planning Leadership Council which in 2003 produced the Court’s first Strategic Plan.

Judge Keary is married to Thomas J. Keary, a former senior trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and they have three children.