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Federal Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Reyna ’75 to deliver 2017 Commencement address

February 11, 2017
Jimmie Reyna

The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna ’75, Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the first Latino to serve on this court, will deliver the 167th College commencement address at the University of Rochester on Sunday, May 21.

At the ceremony, Reyna will be bestowed the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, the University’s highest alumni award presented for career achievements and notable service.

Reyna was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2011 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He is a renowned international trade lawyer respected for his skill in trade policy, business regulation, and compliance law, and has a distinguished track record of leadership in the Hispanic legal community.

“It is an honor to welcome back to Rochester The Honorable Judge Reyna.  He is an outstanding judge, esteemed for his integrity and judiciary achievements, as well as his strong commitment to community,” said Joel Seligman, University President, CEO, and G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor. “I look forward to his address to our 2017 graduating class.”

Reyna graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1975, at the same time as his wife, Dolores, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He earned a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1978. The Reyna’s youngest son, Justin, is also a University of Rochester alumnus, graduating in 1999 with a degree in religion.

“The College commencement address is the last imparting of knowledge and inspiration to our graduates, and it’s always very meaningful when an alumnus of such achievement returns to be the day’s speaker,” said Richard Feldman, dean of the College.

As a federal Circuit Court judge, Reyna hears appeals based on patent disputes, trade agreements, and international issues. He served on the U.S. roster of dispute settlement panelists for trade disputes under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the U.S. Indicative List of Non-Governmental Panelists for the World Trade Organization, Dispute Settlement Mechanism, for both trade in goods and trade in services.  He is the author of two books on international trade matters.

Before his judiciary appointment, he was an international trade attorney and partner at Williams Mullen, where from 1998 to 2011 he directed the firm’s Trade and Customs Practice Group and its Latin America Task Force, and served on its board of directors (2006-08, 2009-11).

For more than a decade, Reyna served in leadership roles for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), including as national president in 2006-07. He founded the HNBA Journal of Law and Policy in 2008. He was also a founder and member of the board of directors of the U.S.-Mexico Law Institute, and the Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children Foundation.

Among his many honors, Reyna received the Ohtli Award in 2009, the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government for non-Mexican citizens recognizing leaders whose efforts have contributed significantly to the well being, prosperity and empowerment of Mexican communities abroad.

Additional information about University commencement ceremonies and related activities is available at The May 21 ceremony will be webstreamed live.

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