The White House released a list of judicial nominees today (Aug. 14, 2019), selected by President Donald Trump, among them an Indian-American from Florida who comes highly recommended by his peers in that state, including the Asian-American legal establishment.
Florida Judge Anuraag Hari Singhal, also referred to as “Raag”, was in the list of judicial nominees, U.S. Attorney nominees, and U.S. Marshall nominees, the President is nominating.
Singhal who is being nominated to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, currently serves as a Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida, having been appointed to the bench by then Republican Governor Rick Scott in 2011. He became the first Indian-American and Asian-American to get such an appointment in Broward County, Fl.
“I know Judge Singhal from my interactions with him in APABA,” Sandy Chiu, president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida, told News India Times. “He is very supportive of the organization and attends events, mentors our law students and attorneys. He is someone we look up to and turn to,” Chiu added.
“Judge Singhal is someone who we know will follow the law and maintain an impartial role,” Chiu said.
A Sun-sentinel online news report from Jan. 20, 2012, says Singhal was born in the U.S. three years after his parents immigrated to this country in 1960, and grew up in New Jersey. The report also reveals that Singhal is married to Dr. Lisa Kay Mao and has three children, Samantha, Peter and Julia; that his father was a research chemist and his late mother an English professor.
He also served as the president of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
“Singhal, who grew up in New Jersey and moved to South Florida in 1989, was one of the county’s best-known death penalty lawyers,” the Sun-Sentinel said in the 2012 article.
This July 11, (2019), the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida supported Judge Singhal’s nomination to the federal district court of Southern Florida, On Feb. 11, APABA of South Florida, sent a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr, saying it “strongly” supports his nomination, noting that as part of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, its “primary mission is to promote diversity in the legal profession as well as the judiciary.”
The letter from APABA-South Florida, also said, Judge Singhal, “has consistently demonstrated his commitment to service and diversity through his involvement in the legal community, including voluntary bar associations such as APABA,” and that the Indian-American judge engaged with other legal and civic organizations to “improve the law, legal system, and the administration of justice.”
The letter to Barr, also said, “Many of APABA’s members have appeared before Judge Singhal and — without a doubt — he follows the law, is fair-minded, exhibits respect to all members of the bar and anyone else who comes before him and exercises excellent judicial temperament at all times.”
With the range of Judge Singhal’s experience, “Not surprisingly, he is widely regarded as an excellent jurisst and one of the best-qualified judges in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,” APABA of South Florida emphasized.
Before that appointment, Judge Singhal was in private practice at his law firm of Kaplan & Singhal, in Fort Lauderdale where his practice focused on criminal defense in both the trial courts and courts of appeals.
Early in his career, Singhal served as a prosecutor in the Office of the State Attorney.
Singhal is a member of the conservative Federalist Society. He is also a member of the Broward County Bar Association, the American Inns of Court, and the Florida Bar’s Military Affairs Committee.
He has been recognized for his work by the South Asian Bar Association, the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Inns of Court.
He has a B.A. from Rice University in Houston, TX (1986) and a J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1989).