Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain LL.M. '92 To Assume Senior Status on Ninth Circuit

Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain spoke to law students last year about how the U.S. Constitution impacts the decisions of federal judges.

September 27, 2016

Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, a 1992 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law LL.M. program for judges, notified President Barack Obama on Monday that he will assume senior status on the U.S. Ninth Circuit, effective Dec. 31. The move occurred on the 30th anniversary of his appointment to the bench by President Ronald Reagan.

O'Scannlain, in choosing senior status, retains his chambers in Portland but decreases his workload. The move also makes it possible for the next president to appoint his successor.

Holding the record for longest active service of any Oregonian on the Ninth Circuit since Judge William Gilbert, appointed in 1892, O'Scannlain has participated in more than 10,000 federal cases.

He is also a former chair of the judicial division of the American Bar Association and has written hundreds of published opinions on a broad range of subjects including constitutional law, international law, securities law, administrative law and criminal law.

In addition to his graduate work in judicial process at UVA Law, O'Scannlain earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from St. John's University, and also holds several honorary degrees.

He returned to the Law School last year to discuss how the U.S. constitutional structure affects the work of federal judges.


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

News Highlights