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David S. Nelson Edit Profile

David S. Nelson, American federal judge. Fellow American Bar Foundation; member American Law Institute.


Nelson, David S. was born on December 2, 1933 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Maston A. and Enid M.Nelson.


Bachelor of Science, Boston College, 1957. Juris Doctor, Boston College, 1960.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Nelson received a B.S. from Boston College in 1957 and a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1960. He was in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts from 1960 to 1973. He was an Assistant professor, Boston University School of Public Communications from 1966 to 1973.

He was a U.S. Commissioner, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts from 1968 to 1969. He was an Instructor, Harvard Law School from 1969 to 1980. He was an Assistant commonwealth attorney general of Chief of Consumer Protection Division, Massachusetts from 1971 to 1973.

He was a Justice, Superior Court of Massachusetts from 1973 to 1979. He was an Instructor in trial advocacy, Boston University School of Law from 1973 to 1992. Nelson was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Nelson was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on January 25, 1979, to a new seat created by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 21, 1979, and received his commission on March 23, 1979. He was the first African American to be appointed a federal judge in Massachusetts.

He assumed senior status on September 27, 1991. Nelson served in that capacity until his death. He was the first African American appointed to the Federal District court for the District of Massachusetts.

He died in Framingham, Massachusetts.


Fellow American Bar Foundation. Member American Law Institute.