Danielle Hunsaker Background Report

September 24, 2019

On September 19, 2019, President Trump nominated Danielle J. Hunsaker of Oregon to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to fill the seat of Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who assumed senior status in 2016.

Danielle Hunsaker is a graduate of the University of Idaho and University of Idaho College of Law. While at law school, she published a law review article that discussed the practical implications of a new death penalty statute in Idaho that was enacted in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Ring v. Arizona.

After law school, Hunsaker served as a law clerk to Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2004 to 2005 and to Judge Michael W. Mosman of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon from 2005 to 2007. She also clerked for Judge O’Scannlain on the Ninth Circuit for six months in 2008.

From 2009 to 2017, Hunsaker practiced at Larkins Vacura Kayser LLP in Portland, Oregon. While there, her work focused on complex commercial litigation. Her clients included business entities in commercial disputes, financial entities in consumer protection and real estate disputes, and the Port of Portland in the Portland Harbor Superfund Cleanup Cost Allocation. Hunsaker also served as an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School from 2011 to 2016.

Since 2017, Hunsaker has served as a state trial court judge.  In her Senate Judiciary Questionnaire, Hunsaker indicated that she has presided over approximately 3,500 cases. Of these cases, approximately 23 have gone to verdict or judgement. She does not write opinions or substantive orders in most of her cases and none of the opinions she has written have been published in any electronic or print database of legal opinions. A majority of the cases that she presides over are criminal.

She was a member of the Federalist Society from 2002 to 2006. She rejoined in 2017 and remains a member today.