Milton C. Lee, Jr. was appointed to the District of Columbia Superior Court in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Judge currently serves as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division and is assigned to a Felony I calendar.
Judge Lee is a native of the District of Columbia. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the American University School of Justice in 1982. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in 1985.
Following law school, Judge Lee joined the District of Columbia Public Defender Service as a staff attorney. There he served as a trial attorney for many years, representing indigent persons in the Family, Misdemeanor, and Felony Divisions of the Superior Court where he tried over 70 cases to a jury. He also argued a number of appellate cases before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Judge Lee took leave from the Public Defender Service and taught as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center in the Criminal Justice Clinic. He also served as a supervisor in the E. Barrett Prettyman Program. He returned briefly to the Public Defender Service as Deputy Trial Chief where he had oversight of the daily operations of the trial division. In 1993 Judge Lee joined the faculty at the former District of Columbia School of Law, where he supervised students in the Juvenile Law Clinic. Judge Lee continued his focus in the classroom, teaching Evidence, Criminal Law and Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Trial Advocacy, and Wills and Estates. In 1995 he received the Professor of the Year from the student body. In 2004 and again in 2017, he received the same award for his service as a member of the adjunct faculty. Since 2012 Judge Lee has also served as member of the adjunct faculty at the Howard University School of Law.
Judge Lee joined the District of Columbia Superior Court as a Magistrate Judge in November 1998. Between 2003 and 2005 Judge Lee presided over a misdemeanor trial calendar. During 2006 and 2007 Judge as assigned to the Juvenile Delinquency New Referrals Court where he was responsible for initial hearings and placement decisions in juvenile and neglect cases. During his tenure as a magistrate judge he was assigned to the Superior Court’s arraignment calendar until his appointment as an associate judge. He served as the presiding magistrate judge from 2006 until his nomination. Judge Lee has remained active in the both the legal and academic communities. He has continued to serve the law school community as an adjunct faculty member, and in 1995 published an article analyzing the recent amendments to the Court’s juvenile detention statute. Judge Lee and the members of the Juvenile Law Clinic published a manual for practitioners in the area of special education advocacy. Judge Lee later authored an article entitled “What Truth Do We Seek?” supporting greater discovery in criminal cases.
From 2008 to 2013 Judge Lee spearheaded the development of the District of Columbia Superior Court’s Fathering Court. The initiative represents a partnership between the Court, several governmental agencies and the private sector directed toward creating opportunities for non-custodial parents to become meaningful contributors to the development of their children. The initiative has worked with many reentry parents by providing employment, educational training, parenting training and support groups as well as wrap around services for the entire family. The Fathering Court Initiative has garnered national recognition for its innovative problem-solving approach to reunited families. In 2012, as the presiding judge of the Fathering Court Initiative, Judge Lee authored “Fatherhood in the Child Support System: An Innovative Problem-Solving Approach to an Old Problem” and “Fathering Court: A New Model for Child Support Enforcement.
Judge Lee continues to serve on many Superior Court committees and is the Chair of the Superior Court Jury Committee. In March 2018, Judge Lee was appointed as the Chair of the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission.