Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby was nominated by President George W. Bush to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in August 2006. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby chairs the District of Columbia Courts’ Standing Committee on Fairness and Access, and serves as a Commissioner on the District of Columbia’s Access to Justice Commission. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby was nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton to serve as an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 2000-2006. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby also served as a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court from 1995-2000.
Judge Blackburne-Rigsby was born in Washington, D.C. and attended elementary and high school in Jamaica, New York. She graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and received the Duke University Presidential Leadership Award upon graduation. Following graduation from Duke University, she was selected to be one of twelve Public Affairs Fellows of the Coro Foundation in San Francisco, California. She earned her law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1987, graduating in the top five percent of her class. While in law school, she served as the Lead Articles Editor of the Howard Law Journal and served as the Co-Captain for the Charles Hamilton Houston Moot Court Team.
Following law school, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby was an associate at the law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP (formerly Hogan and Hartson) in Washington, D.C., where she litigated commercial, real estate, employment discrimination, and education matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. This included work on a major school desegregation case in Missouri, a case involving a nationwide audit of the employment practices of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and various pro bono immigration cases.
In 1992, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby joined the District of Columbia Office of the Corporation Counsel (now District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General), where she served as Special Counsel to the Corporation Counsel, working as part of the senior management team. She then served as Deputy Corporation Counsel in charge of the Family Services Division, where she was responsible for managing the Division's 65 attorneys and support staff in handling child abuse and neglect, child support enforcement, and domestic violence cases.
In 1995, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby was appointed to serve as a Magistrate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, a position she held until her appointment as an Associate Judge in 2000. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby served in the Criminal, Civil, and Family Divisions, and the Domestic Violence Unit of the Superior Court. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby served on various Superior Court committees including the Judicial Education Committee and the Committee on the Selection and Tenure of Magistrate Judges.
Judge Blackburne-Rigsby has taught Trial Advocacy at the Harvard Law School and teaches Professional Responsibility as an Adjunct Professor at the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. She has also taught several Continuing Legal Education courses for the District of Columbia Bar.
Judge Blackburne-Rigsby has also held offices in several judicial organizations. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby is currently the President-Elect of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ). She also serves as Chair of the Board of Managerial Trustees for the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). Previously she served as the Vice President for District 4 of NAWJ and as the Chair of the NAWJ Fairness and Access to the Courts Committee. She is a former Chair of the Washington Bar Association Judicial Council. In March of 2006, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby represented the IAWJ at a Judicial Conference in Turin, Italy, where she delivered a speech on Racial Equality in the Workplace at the Lavoro dei Migranti e Discriminazione Convegno. In 2003, she traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to participate in a conference of the African Judicial Network. Through her work with these organizations, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby has sought to promote the rule of law and equal access to justice.
Judge Blackburne-Rigsby’s volunteer and community service is not limited to legal and judicial activities. Among other things, she has served on the D.C. Rape Crisis Board; she is the former President of the Washington, DC Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and a member of the Washington DC Chapter of the Links, Inc.; and a life long member of the NAACP. She served as a Sunday school teacher at Shiloh Baptist Church; she is the former coach of the Catholic Youth Organization’s girl’s basketball team of St. Gabriel’s Church; and she also coached her son’s biddy basketball team at St. Ann’s Academy. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby has received awards for her legal, judicial and community service, including the Business and Professional Women’s League "Sojourner Truth Award.”
Judge Blackburne-Rigsby is married to Judge Robert Rigsby, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court, former Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, and a Colonel and Military Judge in the United States Army Reserves. They are the proud parents of a teenage son.