CWRU Law Alum Philip Hadji becomes Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Philip Hadji with co-Dean Michael Scharf

On March 15, 2024, Co-Dean Michael Scharf spoke at the Investiture for alum Philip Hadji (LAW ‘09), who was recently unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the newest judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims. 

The 16 member court, whose members are appointed for 15-year terms, sits in a historic building that also houses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit next to the White House. Scharf remarked that Hadji’s expertise in international law, honed at the law school and in his work in the Navy’s Office of General Counsel would be very useful to a court whose jurisdiction includes cases brought by U.S and foreign citizens against the United States, cases involving Indian treaties, questions about the extraterritorial application of environmental law and takings claims. 

Scharf reminisced about working closely with Hadji at the School of Law when Hadji was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law fifteen years ago. He said Hadji was a well-respected and steady leader of the Journal and recalled that the Symposium issue Hadji’s team published about amending the International Criminal Court Statute to add the crime of aggression was one of the most impactful in the Journal’s 55-year year history. Scharf said the volume was frequently referred to during the negotiations to amend the ICC Statue in Kampala which he attended and is once again having an impact as the international community considers creating an ad hoc tribunal to try Russian President Putin for the crime of aggression.

Scharf said “along with his diploma and expertise in international law, Hadji also met his future wife, Katie Rudis Hadji (LAW/MBA ‘09) at the law school.” He added, “As a Senate Chief Counsel, Katie has also had an impressive career as a Washington insider and has been instrumental in Phil’s success.”

Scharf said that he and Hadji “grew up twenty years apart just a few blocks from each other in Shaker Heights and that Phil will now be remembered along with the famed actor Paul Newman as among the most high-profile individuals from Shaker.”

In addition to Dean Scharf, remarks were delivered by Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy, and Catherine Kessmeier, Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy. 

With eleven of the court’s judges and dozens of Hadji’s former colleagues from the U.S. Navy Office of General Counsel in attendance Hadji took the oath of office, donned his judicial robe and joined the judges on the bench.