Judge Bios

Wright, Melvin R.

Appointed: January 1, 1998

Judge Melvin R. Wright was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1998 by President William Jefferson Clinton.

Judge Wright was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1968. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of the District of Columbia in 1977 and his law degree in 1982 from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Judge Wright joined the Superior Court of the District of Columbia as a Landlord and Tenant/Small Claims Clerk in June 1972. As a result of several promotions, he performed as a Bailiff in 1973; a Civil Pretrial Clerk, and later as a Civil Courtroom Clerk in 1974; and a Civil Motions Clerk in 1977.

In June 1981, Judge Wright obtained a judicial clerkship with the late Superior Court Associate Judge Robert A. Shuker, in which he worked in felony trials. From January 1983 through January 1986, Judge Wright was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, rotating through the misdemeanor, appellate, grand jury, and felony trial sections of the Office. In February 1986, Judge Wright joined the law firm of Montedonico, Hamilton & Altman as an Associate Attorney, where he worked on civil and criminal trials. He became a partner with the firm in September 1991, and remained there until his appointment to the bench in 1998.

From April 1998 to December 1998 he served in the Juvenile Trial Branch. From January 1999 through December 2000 Judge Wright was assigned to the Criminal Division where he conducted jury and non-jury felony trials, bond and show cause hearings, sentencings, and other criminal related proceedings. Additionally, Judge Wright conducted neglect and abuse review hearings until January 2001. From January 2001 to December 2002 Judge Wright was the Presiding Judge for the Superior Court Drug Intervention Program (Drug Court), where he monitored and conducted review hearings for drug addicted persons. Judge Wright was assigned to a civil trial calendar from January 2003 to December 2007 where he decided numerous civil pleadings, conducted various hearings and pretrial conferences, and presided over jury and non-jury trials. In January 2008 Judge Wright was appointed Deputy Presiding Judge for the Civil Division by Chief Judge Rufus King III, where he is currently assigned.

Judge Wright was a member of the Task Force on Gender Bias in the District of Columbia Courts in 1991 and 1992, and he continues to serve as a Member on the Board of the Robert A. Shuker Scholarship Fund, an organization which raises money for District of Columbia students who wish to attend college and law school.