Kimba Maureen Wood born January 21, 1944 is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Wood has presided over many high profile cases including “Junk Bond King” Michael Milken, Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate Dean Skelos, and Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. She is known for being low-key yet firm.
On December 18, 1987, based upon a recommendation from Senator Al D’Amato, Wood was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge Constance Baker Motley. Wood was confirmed by a unanimous United States Senate on April 19, 1988, and received her commission on April 20, 1988. She entered on duty on July 28, 1988. Wood was a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2006-2007. She served as Chief Judge from 2006 to 2009 and assumed senior status on June 1, 2009.
On July 8, 2010, Wood was the presiding judge over the US case against ten alleged Russian ‘illegals’ involved in the Illegals program. She accepted the defendants’ guilty pleas and sentenced all ten to time served. The ten were then deported and exchanged for four prisoners previously held in Russia
On October 26, 2010, Wood issued an injunction in Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC, forcing LimeWire to disable “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of its software. A trial investigating the damages necessary to compensate the affected record labels was held in 2011 and ended in a negotiated settlement.
On November 19, 2010, Wood received attention in connection with a letter to the court from Bennet M. Epstein, an attorney, who asked for time off from a trial to attend his then-unborn grandson’s bris, if the baby proved to be a boy. In response, Wood wrote that Epstein would be permitted to attend the bris, but that “if a daughter is born, there will be a public celebration in court, with readings from poetry celebrating girls and women.”
In 2016, Wood presided over the case against Dean Skelos, Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate, who was accused of federal corruption charges.
In April 2018, Wood was assigned to preside over motions arising out of the search pursuant to warrant of the home and office of Michael Cohen, a personal attorney for Donald Trump.In 1970, Wood married Robert Lovejoy, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. She went by the name Kimba Wood Lovejoy from 1970 to 1982, until the time of their divorce. In 1982, Wood married Time magazine political columnist Michael Kramer. They had a son, Ben, in 1986. The marriage ended in divorce. After separating from Kramer, Wood and former Harvard Law School classmate Frank E. Richardson II began dating. In 1995, Wood was named as a co-respondent in Richardson’s high profile divorce battle, where Richardson’s diaries describing his relationship with Wood were made public. In 1999, Wood married Richardson.