David A. Tapp

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of David Austin Tapp as Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Prior to confirmation, Judge Tapp served 15 years as Judge of the 28th Circuit and District of the Kentucky Court of Justice. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, a Master of Science from Chaminade University of Honolulu, and a Bachelor of Arts from Morehead State University.

Judge Tapp is a frequent presenter and author on a wide variety of civil and criminal issues including court culture, judicial stress, court-targeted acts of violence, evidence, electronically stored information, and civil and criminal procedure. He previously served as a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, private counsel, and adjunct professor of law.

Judge Tapp’s efforts on a variety of justice-related issues have been well-recognized. In 2011, Judge Tapp received the “All Rise” Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals for his efforts related to funding issues for substance abuse treatment courts. Most recently, Judge Tapp’s drug court team became one of only 15 drug courts (out of 2,700 worldwide) to receive the NADCP’s Community Transformation Award for his team’s continuing efforts to provide meaningful substance abuse treatment. Judge Tapp was also the lead judge for Kentucky’s efforts to explore the use of extended-release injectable naltrexone as part of a comprehensive opiate treatment strategy.

Judge Tapp currently serves as a policy advisor to the 2020 RX Drug and Heroin Abuse Summit, the nation’s largest conference addressing opioid-related issues. Until his confirmation, he served on the U.S. Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention which reports to the President and Congress through the U.S. Department of Justice and provides advice regarding programming and intervention strategies for the nation’s justice-involved children.

Judge Tapp previously served six years as Chairperson of Kentucky’s Circuit Judges Education Committee where he directed the continuing education of all general jurisdiction and family court judges within Kentucky. He also acted as Kentucky’s Co-Chairperson of the Judicial Child Fatality Task Force which focused on awareness issues surrounding fatal and near-fatal events involving children within the judicial and child protective system, and as a member of Kentucky’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council, a statewide group tasked with evaluation of the Commonwealth’s justice practices.