Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Judge Lisa Branch?

Judge Lisa Branch is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from Georgia. 

Age: 49 (approximate)

Current Position: Judge, Court of Appeals of Georgia (Atlanta, GA)

Education:

  • B.A., Davidson College (1990), cum laude

  • J.D., Emory University (1994), with distinction; Order of the Coif; Notes and Comments Editor, Emory Law Journal

Judicial Clerkships: Judge J. Owen Forrester of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (1994-1996)

Experience:

  • 1996-2004: Attorney, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (Atlanta, GA)

  • 2004-2005: Associate General Counsel for Rules and Legislation at the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2005-2008: Counselor to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the U. S. Office of Management and Budget (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2008-2012: Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (Atlanta, GA)

  • 2012-present: Judge, Court of Appeals of Georgia (Atlanta, GA)

Notable Matters:

  • Georgia Governor Nathan Deal appointed Judge Branch to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2012. In 2016, Judge Branch authored the majority opinion in a case that overturned the state’s invasion of privacy conviction of a grocery store employee who had recorded videos of up a woman’s skirt (a practice known as “upskirting”). Recognizing the textual limitations of the state’s invasion of privacy statute, which specifically applied to the use of any device to record or observe the activities of another “in any private place and out of public view,” the majority found that a grocery store is neither a private place nor out of view. Judge Branch wrote, “[I]t is regrettable that no law currently exists which criminalizes [the defendant’s] reprehensible conduct.”

  • By appointment of Governor Deal, Judge Branch has served on the George Commission on Child Support since 2013. She is also a member of the State Bar of Georgia’s Appellate Practice Section.

  • Judge Branch is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Awards: Georgia Super Lawyer (2012)

Biographical Notes: Judge Branch is a Georgia native. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was raised in Fulton County.

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