THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT NOMINATES FOUR TO FEDERAL BENCH
The President today nominated four individuals to serve on the U.S. District Court: Nancy Friedman Atlas for the Southern District of Texas; John Garvan Murtha for the District of Vermont; George A. O'Toole, Jr. for the District of Massachusetts; and Leland M. Shurin for the Western District of Missouri.
Nancy Friedman Atlas, 45, has practiced law with the Houston firm of Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay since 1982, where she specializes in commercial litigation and mediation. Previously, Atlas served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and as a law clerk to Judge Dudley Bonsal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Atlas received a B.S. degree from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. Atlas currently resides in Houston with her husband, Scott J. Atlas, and their two children.
John Garvan Murtha, 53, has practiced law with the Brattleboro firm of Kristensen, Cummings & Murtha, P.C. since 1973, where he specializes in civil and criminal litigation. While in private practice, he also has served as acting Vermont District Court Judge for the Brattleboro District Court. Prior to joining the firm, Murtha served as the Deputy State's Attorney for Windham County, Vermont, and was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center. Murtha received a B.A. degree from Yale University, an LL.B. degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Murtha currently lives in Putney, Vermont with his wife, Margaret McDonald Murtha.
George A. O'Toole, Jr., 47, has served as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts since 1990. From 1982 to 1990, he served as an associate justice on the Boston Municipal Court. Prior to joining the bench, O'Toole was a partner in the Boston law firm of Hale & Dorr. O'Toole received a B.A. degree from Boston College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Lucy Ann Flynn, currently live in Winchester, Massachusetts.
Leland Shurin, 50, has practiced law in the Kansas City area since 1969. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the law firm of McDowell, Rice & Smith in Kansas City, where he maintains a general trial and business practice. Shurin received a B.A. degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a J.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Shurin is a life-long resident of Kansas City, where he resides with his wife, Susan Jill Shurin.