Judge Sandra Dee Lord has joined the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), making her the third ALJ appointee to join the ITC bench in as many years. Judge Lord’s first day on the bench was September 23, 2013, and she is already managing an active docket of Section 337 investigations.
Judge Lord has a long history of public service. Prior to joining the USITC, she served as an ALJ at the National Hearing Center for the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, as Chief Special Master at the Court of Federal Claims, and as Chief Special Master of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. She also has experience as a trial litigator, having worked at both the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice Civil Division/Commercial Litigation Branch.
Judge Lord replaces ALJ Robert Rogers, who retired from the ITC bench in June 2013. With the addition of Judge Lord to the bench, the ITC has returned to a full complement of 6 ALJs available to preside over Section 337 investigations. Judge Lord is known for moving cases along quickly and effectively, which will be an important skill at the ITC, where cases generally proceed to a hearing in roughly nine to ten months after institution.
There are currently 47 active Section 337 investigations before the ITC, and three more pending institution. The ITC offers litigants an avenue to bring patent infringement and other unfair competition claims against imported products to quick resolution before experienced ALJs, making the ITC a popular forum for enforcing IP rights.