Diana Gribbon Motz

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Diana Gribbon Motz
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Assumed office
June 16, 1994
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Personal details
Diana Jane Gribbon

(1943-07-15) July 15, 1943 (age 75)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) J. Frederick Motz
Education Vassar College (B.A.)
University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.)

Diana Jane Gribbon Motz (born July 15, 1943) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Early life and education

Born in Washington, D.C., Motz[1] was raised in a legal family. Her father was attorney Daniel M. Gribbon, who had clerked for Judge Learned Hand.[2] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College in 1965 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1968.[3] She was one of two women in her law school class.[4]

Professional career

Motz worked in private law practice in Baltimore, Maryland for the firm Piper & Marbury (now DLA Piper) from 1968 until 1971. She became the assistant state attorney general for the state of Maryland in 1972, and served in that capacity until 1986, when she returned to private practice. In 1991, Motz returned to the public sector, appointed as an associate judge for the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. She worked in that court until her confirmation by the United States Senate in 1994 as a federal appeals court judge.

While an assistant state attorney general for Maryland, Motz won a $268,482 judgment against former Vice President Spiro Agnew to recover money he accepted as bribes while he was Governor of Maryland.

Federal judicial service

Motz was nominated by President Bill Clinton on January 27, 1994, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 104 Stat. 5089. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 15, 1994, and received commission on June 16, 1994. She is the first woman from Maryland to serve on the Fourth Circuit.[3]

Her husband, J. Frederick Motz, had been appointed a federal district court judge by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. The Motzes are the first married couple to each sit on the federal bench. "Yes, it's true: He's a Republican. It's his only flaw," Motz quipped.[5]


  1. ^ Motz Biography Maryland Manual Online
  2. ^ "Legends in the Law: Daniel M. Gribbon". Washington, D.C. Bar Report. October 1998. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Motz, Diana Jane Gribbon - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  4. ^ "Diana Motz joins federal bench today", Baltimore Sun, 22 July 1994. Accessed 15 July 2015.
  5. ^ "THE JUDICIARY: Clinton's Big Bench: Judges of All Stripes and Colors Appointed: Blacks, Latinos, women, even Republicans fill federal vacancies. It is the most diverse group named by any President." Los Angeles Times, 16 November 1994. Accessed 15 July 2016.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
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