Judge Bios

Upadhyay, Moxila A.

Appointed: September 7, 2022

Moxila A. Upadhyaya was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge on September 7, 2022.  Judge Upadhyaya was born in Gujarat, India, and raised near Kansas City, Missouri.  Judge Upadhyaya received her Bachelor of Journalism, magna cum laude, from the Missouri School of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts, with honors in Latin, from the University of Missouri.  She received her J.D., cum laude, from the American University, Washington College of Law, where she earned distinction for her trial work representing clients in the Criminal Justice Clinic and was a member of the Administrative Law Review.

After she graduated from law school, Judge Upadhyaya served a two-year term as law clerk to the Honorable Eric T. Washington, former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals.  Judge Upadhyaya then joined Venable LLP’s Washington, D.C. office, where she practiced complex commercial and administrative litigation.  Judge Upadhyaya left Venable from 2011-2012 to serve as the first law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins (currently U.S. Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit), during his tenure as a District Judge on this Court.  Judge Upadhyaya rejoined Venable after her clerkship with Judge Wilkins and continued her litigation practice until her appointment to the bench.  During her time as an associate and ultimately partner at Venable, Judge Upadhyaya devoted her pro bono practice to representing indigent clients in post-conviction proceedings, including representing clients who raised challenges under the D.C. Innocence Protection Act and the D.C. Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act.  For her work in this capacity, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project awarded Judge Upadhyaya its Defender of Innocence Award in 2009 and Venable named her Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2006.

From 2021-2022, Judge Upadhyaya was appointed to serve on this Court’s Committee on Grievances.  She is the former Co-Chair of the D.C. Bar Litigation Section Steering Committee and has served on the Board of Directors for the D.C. Access to Justice Foundation and Council for Court Excellence.  Judge Upadhyaya is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.