Stephanos Bibas (born 1969) is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, who previously was a professor of law and criminology at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a leading scholar of criminal procedure with expertise in criminal charging, plea bargaining and sentencing. As a professor, Bibas examined how procedural rules written for jury trials have unintended consequences when cases involving jury trials are the exception, rather than the rule, with 95 percent of defendants pleading guilty. Bibas also studied the role of substantive goals such as remorse and apology in criminal procedure.
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit|
Assumed office |
November 20, 2017
|Appointed by||Donald Trump|
|Preceded by||Midge Rendell|
1969/1970 (age 47–48)|
Queens, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Juliana Denise Bibas|
Columbia University (BA)|
Oxford University (BA, MA)
Yale Law School (JD)
|Institutions||University of Pennsylvania Law School|
Bibas holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School (1994), a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in jurisprudence from Oxford University (1991), and a Bachelor of Arts in political theory summa cum laude from Columbia University (1989).
Bibas was born in New York City and spent his summers growing up working for his father, a Greek immigrant who survived the occupation of Greece during World War II, in his family's restaurants. Starting in high school, he became involved in debate and public speaking. He graduated high school at the age of 15 and entered Columbia University. He continued to develop his debate skills through the Philolexian Society and Parliamentary debate at Columbia University and at Oxford University, where he won the 1st place speaker award in the World Debate Championships. He graduated from Columbia University at the age of 19. At Yale Law School, he joined the moot court and was awarded prizes for the best oralist and best team, and also served as a symposium editor on the Yale Law Journal.
From 2006 to 2017, Bibas was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He received the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. Bibas previously taught at the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law and was a research fellow at Yale Law School.
Before beginning his academic career, Bibas was a federal prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he successfully prosecuted the world's leading expert in Tiffany stained glass for hiring a grave robber to steal priceless Tiffany windows from cemeteries. Bibas also unsuccessfully prosecuted an alleged $7 theft at the VA hospital in New York.
Early in his career, Bibas clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (1997–1998) and Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1994–1995), and was a litigation associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.
Bibas is the 15th-most-cited law professor by the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. courts of appeal, and state high courts as well as the 5th-most-cited professor of criminal law and procedure by law professors.
Bibas also directed Penn Law's Supreme Court clinic, for which he litigated a wide range of appellate cases under consideration by the United States Supreme Court. The clinic allows students to assist on real Supreme Court cases, including recruiting, strategising, researching, writing briefs, participating in moot court rehearsals, and attending oral arguments at the Court itself. The Court appointed him to brief and argue Tapia v. United States as amicus curiae. The Court praised Bibas and the clinic for doing "an exceptionally good job" on that case.
On June 19, 2017, President Trump nominated Bibas to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to fill the seat vacated by Judge Midge Rendell, who took senior status on July 1, 2015. On October 4, 2017, a hearing on his nomination was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee. On October 26, 2017, his nomination was reported out of committee by a 11–9 roll call vote. On November 2, 2017 his nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 53–43. He received his judicial commission on November 20, 2017.
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit