Erdmann ’75 to Become Chief Judge

Judge Charles ErdmannJudge Charles “Chip” Erdmann who graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 1975 will become the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington D.C. on August 1, 2015. Judge Erdmann has been a member of the Court since his appointment by President George W. Bush in 2002. He will succeed the Honorable Jamie Baker who was former counsel to the National Security Agency under President Clinton before taking the bench.

Judge Erdmann attended UMSL after serving a three year stint in the Marines from 1967 to 1970. After law school, he served as an assistant state attorney general for Montana, Chief Counsel to the Auditor’s Office, Chief of Staff for the Antitrust Bureau, Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Bureau, and as Counsel for the Montana School Boards Association before engaging in private law practice in Helena for fifteen years. In 1995, he was appointed by Governor Mark Racicot and served out a term as an Associate Justice on the Montana Supreme Court.

During that civilian law career, Judge Erdmann also served as a commissioned reserve JAG officer for the Montana Air National Guard and continued his career in the military reserve until he retired as a Colonel in 2002. In 1998, after leaving the Montana Supreme Court, he joined the Office of High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he established the first anti-corruption unit, subsequently coordinated judicial reform efforts, and later headed the Human Rights and Rule of Law Department. He was appointed Chief Judge of the Bosnian Election Court in 2000 and was the first American international judge in Bosnia serving until the Bosnian Supreme court took over the duties in 2001. Judge Erdmann remains active in a number of international judicial reform and rule of law projects.

Judge Erdmann and his wife, Renee maintain their primary residence in Helena and have four children and eight grandchildren.

Photo courtesy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.