In his application to the Judicial Nominating Committee, Lang answered a question about what has influenced the type of judge he would be by telling the story of his father, the son of a coal miner who died when Lang’s father was only 2 years old. Councilor Marilyn Devaney asked him about it during the hearing. Lang said he was inspired by his father’s life struggles. His father battled alcoholism most of his life.
“My father was a wonderful man and great father,” he said. “My mother did a great job getting us kids to understand this was a disease. He never lost the love and affection of his children. He got sober the last 15 years of his life. To me, it was a great story of courage and redemption.”
Councilor Jennie Caissie asked him about another answer on his JNC application where he described a difficult and disappointing case in his career. In 2003, there was a case involving a fatal boating accident that ended without the U.S. Attorney’s Office ever prosecuting the case.
The investigation languished for several years without a prosecutorial decision by the assistant U.S. attorneys assigned to the case. Lang oversaw the case. When the U.S. Attorney’s Office finally made a decision in 2008, the statute of limitations had run out. Lang said he and the assistant state’s attorney went to the victim’s family to tell them what happened. Because he oversaw the case, Lang reported himself to the Office of Professional Responsibility.
“I will tell you to this day I feel terrible about it,” he said. “I was passionate about advocating for the victims’ rights.”
During last week’s hearing, Councilor Charles Cippolini asked Lang about his potential pension if confirmed as a judge. He could receive a sizable pension from the federal government and county government, Cippolini said.