J. Curtis Joyner
United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Born: Newberry, South Carolina-April 18, 1948.
Education: Central State University (B.S. 1971); Howard University School of Law (J.D. 1974).
Joyner was appointed to the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 29, 1992. He was appointed by
the first President Bush.
J. Curtis Joyner
was the first college graduate in his immediate family, and also the
first lawyer and judge. Judge Joyner credits his parents with being the
strongest influences in his life:
My parents . . .
instilled in me those characteristics and morals that are essential for
success and survival in the world. They encouraged me to reach for the
unreachable and to dream the impossible dream.
Also, as a
teenager during the civil rights movement, Joyner's participation in
the NAACP Youth Council made him aware of the many contributions the
NAACP Legal Defense Fund and African-American lawyers were making for
the cause of African-American people. It was that realization which
spurred his desire to become a lawyer.
from law school, Judge Joyner began his professional career in 1974 as
a Legal Publications Specialist with the Office of the Federal Register
in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for analyzing, drafting
and editing legislation and presidential documents during the Ford
Administration. From 1975 to 1980, Judge Joyner prosecuted felony,
misdemeanor and juvenile cases as an Assistant District Attorney for
Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1980, he became Chief Deputy District
Attorney for Chester County, the third highest ranking official in the
District Attorney's Office. Judge Joyner held this position until 1984,
when he became the First Assistant District Attorney for Chester
County, Pennsylvania and, thus, the second highest ranking official in
the District Attorney's Office.
ascending to the federal bench, Judge Joyner was a judge of the Court
of Common Pleas Fifteenth Judicial District, West Chester,
Pennsylvania. Judge Joyner was appointed to the federal bench by
President Bush in 1992.
Judge Joyner has
had several "firsts" in his career. He was the first African-American
member of the Chester County Bar Association. He was also the first
African-American Assistant District Attorney in Chester County,
Pennsylvania. In March 1987, he became the first African-American judge
in the history of the Chester County Bench, which dates back over 100
years. In November 1987, Judge Joyner was elected to a ten year term as
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, again becoming
the first African-American to ever be elected to any county-wide office
in a General Election.
cites honesty, intelligence, hard work and thoroughness as the traits
that are important to individuals seeking a legal career. He also
advises that any goal can be accomplished if you "work hard, prepare
well and persevere in your desire."
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