Gregory W. Carman

Gregory W. Carman

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FJA Remembers Judge Gregory W. Carman

Born in Farmingdale, New York on January 31, 1937, the second son of the Honorable Willis B. and Marjorie Sosa Carman, a family of historical standing on the state’s Long Island, Gregory Wright Carman was destined to become a man of letters, law, and public service.

Elementary and secondary education in local public schools was followed by matriculation at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. Prior to being awarded a B.A. degree there in 1958, Gregory’s acquired fluency in French enabled him to also study at l’Université Paris-Sorbonne. He next earned a J.D., again with honors, from St. John’s University School of Law, thereafter satisfying his military service obligation in the U.S. Army’s JAG corps, attending its renowned training school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and rising in rank to Captain. Study some years later at New York University Law School completed Gregory’s formal education, which would prove to be the foundation for honorary doctorates subsequently bestowed upon him.

Admittance to the Bar of New York in 1961 led to practice of law with the family firm in Farmingdale. From 1972-1980, Gregory served as a councilman of the Town of Oyster Bay, whereafter the voters elected him to the U.S. House of Representatives, 97th Congress. During his term there, Congressman Carman served on the International Trade, Investment and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Banking Committee and as a delegate to the International Monetary Fund international conference.

In 1983, President Reagan, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, appointed the Congressman to the U.S. Court of International Trade, headquartered in New York City, with nation-wide jurisdiction. In addition to presiding over its innumerable customs and international-trade cases, Judge Carman was specially designated from time to time by the Chief Justice of the United States to hear and decide matters on the dockets of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth, Eighth, and Federal Circuits.

In 1991, Judge Carman assumed the role of acting chief judge of the USCIT, followed some years later by a full statutory term as the Court’s chief judge. Under his leadership, its senior judges became full voting members, and committees of all the judges increased in number and responsibilities for administrative matters. One such committee began publicly developing the grand history of federal customs cases dating back to the first Judiciary Act in 1789.

Judge Carman’s leadership extended well beyond his USCIT responsibilities. As a statutory member of the Judicial Conference of the United States in Washington, D.C., and as a member of its most-important Executive Committee and also its Judicial Branch Committee and subcommittees on Long- Range Planning, Benefits, Civic Education, and Seminars, Judge Carman worked tirelessly to improve process in the pursuit of justice. And his efforts also extended all over America via lectures and writings at or for universities and law schools, bar associations, local judicial conferences, and inns of court.

Those notable and well-recorded contributions concluded upon His Honor’s retirement from office, effective January 2016. Judge Carman passed in April of 2020.