THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT NOMINATES JAMES BEATY, JR. AND J. RICH LEONARD TO U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
The President today nominated James A. Beaty, Jr. and J. Rich Leonard to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
James A. Beaty, Jr., 46, is currently serving as a judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Before assuming his present position, Beaty spent thirteen years as a judge on the North Carolina Superior Court. Prior to taking the bench, Beaty practiced law in Winston-Salem where he maintained a general civil and criminal litigation practice.
Beaty has remained active in community service throughout his legal career. Over the years he has worked with many civic groups including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Salvation Army Girls Club Advisory Committee, and Inner City Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also has worked as an assistant coach for the local Pop Warner football league. In recognition of both his professional and civic contributions, Beaty received the Western Carolina University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994.
Beaty received his B.A. degree from Western Carolina University, which he attended on an athletic scholarship. After graduating from college, Beaty went on to earn his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina.
Beaty and his wife, Toy Beaty, have one child and reside in Winston-Salem. Upon confirmation, Beaty would become one of fifteen judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which hears cases from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
J. Rich Leonard, 46, is currently a judge on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, a position he has held since 1992. Leonard has devoted much of his career to service in the federal court system. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Franklin T. Dupree, Jr. on the Eastern District of North Carolina for two years and then, after a period in private practice, was named Clerk of the Court for the Eastern District at the age of 29. Two years later, Leonard was appointed to a position as a United States Magistrate Judge, becoming one of only four individuals in the country to serve in this capacity while retaining the position as Clerk of the Court. He held both positions until his appointment to the bankruptcy court in 1992.
During his tenure as Clerk of the Court, Leonard was a nationally recognized expert on issues involving judicial administration, and he has written and lectured widely on the subject. In addition, Leonard has served as an adjunct professor of law at North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina.
A native of North Carolina, Leonard received both his undergraduate degree and a Masters in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He then earned his J.D. degree from Yale Law School.
Leonard resides in Raleigh and has two children, both of whom are currently attending college. Upon confirmation, Leonard would become one of fifteen judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which hears cases from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.