March 27, 1943 – July 20, 2019
Judith A. Yannello, a Town of Tonawanda native who became a federal administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., died unexpectedly July 20 in her home in Charlottesville, Va. She was 76.
Born in Buffalo, she was a 1960 graduate of Kenmore East High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in 1964 and completed Cornell University Law School in 1967.
After passing her New York State bar exam, she moved to Washington and served as a law clerk in the Trial Division of the U.S. Court of Claims.
Ms. Yannello then served for five years as a trial attorney in the Civil Division in the U.S. Justice Department, earning a meritorious service award. Joining a Washington law firm, she spent a few years in private practice, then returned to government service in 1976 as a judge.
She was an administrative law judge for more than a year on the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals for the U.S. Defense Department, then returned to the U.S. Court of Claims Trial Division as a judge for 10 years.
In 1987, she went back to the bench as an administrative law judge for the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, retiring in 1996.
Judge Yannello was active in the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association, where she was chairwoman of the Court of Claims Committee and received a distinguished service award.
She was author of a “Manual for Practice in the Court of Claims,” published as part of the court’s 1979 judicial conference, and “Trial Advocacy and Preparation Program,” which she taught for several years.
One of the founders of the National Association of Women Judges, she served as the first vice president of the organization’s District 4 in the D.C. area and co-chaired the program committee for its first national convention.
Survivors include two sisters, Cheryl A. and Karen M., both retired attorneys.
Services were held July 27 in Richmond, Va.