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Denny Chin (Chinese: 陳卓光) is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was a judge on the United States district court for the Southern District of New York before joining the federal appeals bench. President Clinton nominated Chin to the district court on March 24, 1994, and Chin was confirmed August 9 of that same year. On October 6, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Chin to the federal appeals court. He was confirmed on April 22, 2010 by the U.S. Senate, filling the vacancy created by Judge Robert D. Sack who assumed senior status. Chin was the first Asian American appointed as a U.S. District Judge outside of the Ninth Circuit. He is the only Asian American judge in active service in the federal appellate court system.
Chin was born in 1954 in Kowloon, Hong Kong and came to the U.S. in 1956. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1971. He received his Bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Princeton University in 1975. In 1978, Chin graduated from Fordham University School of Law, where he was the Managing Editor of the Fordham Law Review. Chin currently teaches first year Legal Writing at Fordham.
Following a 1978-1980 clerkship with Judge Henry Werker in the Southern District, Chin worked for the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District from 1982 to 1986. In 1986, Chin left the U.S. Attorney's Office and started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin, with two colleagues from the U.S. Attorney's Office. In 1990, he joined the law firm Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law and represented employees and unions.