June 16, 2022

Senate Judiciary Committee Gives Bipartisan Approval to 1st Circuit Nominee Montecalvo

Nomination heads to the full Senate

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee has backed the nomination of Lara E. Montecalvo to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  In a 12-10 vote, the Committee voted this morning to send the nomination to the full Senate for final confirmation, which requires approval by a simple majority.

Montecalvo’s nomination was announced by the White House in April after Whitehouse and U.S. Senator Jack Reed jointly made their recommendations for the seat to the President.  Montecalvo currently leads the office of the Rhode Island Public Defender. 

“In a testament to Ms. Montecalvo’s exceptional credentials, she earned bipartisan support from members of the Judiciary Committee.  She is extremely well-respected in Rhode Island, and we know she will be a fair and impartial judge.  We look forward to a swift confirmation by the full Senate,” said Senators Whitehouse and Reed in a joint statement.

Montecalvo’s nomination has earned widespread support from Rhode Island’s judicial and law enforcement communities.  Local police leaders, former prosecutors, and current and retired members of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the Rhode Island Superior Court strongly advocated for her confirmation in letters submitted to the Judiciary Committee last month.

Montecalvo has extensive litigation and appellate experience handling both criminal and civil cases in state and federal courts.  She has over twenty years of legal experience at the state and federal levels.

A resident of Barrington who moved to Rhode Island with her family when she was in the fourth grade, Montecalvo serves as the state’s chief Public Defender.  In that role, she provides high-quality legal representation for Rhode Islanders who cannot afford to hire an attorney in criminal, juvenile, and parental rights cases.

Montecalvo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College and went on to attend Boston College Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2000.  She and her husband, Craig, have a son.

After graduating from law school, Montecalvo worked as a trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC for four years, focusing on civil tax matters in federal courts before joining the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office in 2004.  Prior to being confirmed as the state’s Public Defender, Montecalvo served as Chief of the Appellate Division of the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Montecalvo will fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that was created when Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson announced her plan to take senior status. 

The First Circuit, based in Boston, hears appeals of federal cases from Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Puerto Rico. The First Circuit is one of thirteen appellate courts that sit one rung below the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294

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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921