D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin was sworn in Friday as the court’s seventh chief judge.

Morin, 63, a former defense lawyer who represented death-row inmates, was picked in June as the court’s top judge, beating out four other judges who vied for the position, including the most recent chief, Judge Lee F. Satterfield.

Morin was appointed judge in 1996 by President Bill Clinton and previously served as presiding judge of the court’s criminal division, where he helped oversee management of calendars for judges who handle criminal cases. He also has worked representing death-penalty clients at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.

Morin was selected by the seven-member Judicial Nomination Commission. The commission is composed of U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, its chairman, as well as four D.C. lawyers, a local minister and a representative of the AFL-CIO. 

Judge Robert E. Morin. (D.C. Courts)

Most recently, Morin has overseen Felony 1 cases, which often include the most serious cases, such as killings and sexual assault. The court has given Morin’s caseload to Judge Lynn Leibovitz.