D. Michael Fisher

Distinguished Jurist Fellow
Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Judge Fisher is a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in December 2003. Prior to becoming a judge, he served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania having been elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2000. Judge Fisher personally argued major cases in state and federal appellate courts and in March 1998, he successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court a precedent-setting case ensuring that paroled criminals meet the conditions of their release. Before his election as Attorney General, Judge Fisher was in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, serving six years in the State House and 16 years as a member of the State Senate. He began his legal career as an Assistant DA in his hometown of Pittsburgh following his graduation from Georgetown University and its Law Center. He continued to practice law during his career in the General Assembly and was a shareholder or partner in various firms, including Houston Harbaugh, where he practiced from 1984 to 1997. Judge Fisher is a member of the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the U.S. Judicial Conference and will begin a 3 year term as its Chair on October 1, 2019. Judge Fisher currently chairs the PBA’s Federal Practice Committee, the Third Circuit Attorney Disciplinary Committee and was named as the Initial Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Pitt Law teaching Federal Courts and Federal Appellate Advocacy.

Programs & Courses