Brandeis alumnus appointed to federal Court of Appeals

Judge Gustavo GelpĂ­

Gustavo GelpĂ­

Gustavo Gelpí '87 has been appointed judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, becoming the second judge of Latinx origin to serve on the First Circuit and the second from Puerto Rico ever to sit on the First Circuit.

Gelpí's appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a 51-42 vote on Oct. 19. He was nominated to the post by President Joseph Biden in May.

The First Circuit oversees appeals from federal district courts in Puerto Rico and all New England states except Connecticut. It is the second highest level of federal court, following only the U.S. Supreme Court.

He was part of a slate of six federal judgeship nominations — three in the appeals court and three in district court — announced by the White House on May 12.

Gelpí has served as a judge in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico for 20 years, first as a magistrate judge from 2001-06, then as a federal judge since 2006. He has been the Chief Judge of Puerto Rico Federal Court since 2018.

After graduating from Brandeis in 1987, Gelpí received his law degree from Suffolk University in 1991. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1991-93, then served as special counsel to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 1996 and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1993-96, according to the announcement from the White House.

He served as an Assistant Attorney General in Puerto Rico from 1997-99 before becoming Puerto Rico's Solicitor General from 1999 to 2000, and briefly worked in the litigation department of the McConnell Valdés law firm in 2001 before being appointed to the federal bench.

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