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Cathy Bissoon

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Cathy Bissoon

Cathy Bissoon
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Incumbent
Assumed office
2011
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Thomas Hardiman
Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
In office
2008–2011
Preceded by Francis X. Caiazza
Succeeded by Cynthia Reed Eddy
Personal details
Born 1968 (age 45–46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Gregory Bradley
Alma mater Alfred University
Harvard University

Cathy Bissoon (born 1968) is an American lawyer and judge who serves on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Early life and education

Bissoon was born on May 16, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York.[1] Bissoon's father was from Puerto Rico and her mother from Trinidad.[2] When Bissoon was four years old, her father was killed in a stabbing close to the family home in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.[2] Bissoon's mother later remarried and the family moved to Queens, New York.[2]

Bissoon attended Alfred University in New York, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1990.[3][4] She earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1993.[5] After completing law school, Bissoon joined the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith, practicing in the firm's labor and employment group. While at Reed Smith, Bissoon took a one-year leave of absence to serve as a law clerk for Judge Gary L. Lancaster of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.[5]

In 2007, Bissoon joined the Pittsburgh law firm of Cohen & Grigsby where she was a director and the head of the firm's Labor & Employment Group.[3]

Judicial service

In July 2008, Bissoon was selected to serve as a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, replacing Judge Francis X. Caiazza.[6] She joined the bench on August 1, 2008, and is the first woman of color to sit on the federal bench in Pittsburgh.[6] Bissoon, who is Hispanic and Indian, is also the first woman of Indian descent to sit on a federal court in the United States.

During the 111th Congress, Pennsylvania Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey recommended Bissoon for a seat on the Western District of Pennsylvania.[4] On November 17, 2010, President Barack Obama formally nominated Bissoon to be a United States district court judge,[3] to replace Thomas Hardiman, who was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in March 2007.[5]

On October 17, 2011, the Senate voted 82–3 to confirm Bissoon. She received her commission on October 19, 2011. On that date, she became the first Hispanic female Article III judge in Pennsylvania, as well as the first Asian American Article III judge in Pennsylvania. [7]

See also

Puerto Rico portal
Biography portal


References

External links

  • Federal Judicial Center.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas Hardiman
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
2011–present
Incumbent
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