Robert E. Keeton was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts on March 23, 1979, and entered on duty April 2, 1979. He is a graduate of the University of Texas (B.B.A. degree in 1940 and LL.B. degree in 1941), and Harvard University (S.J.D. in 1956). During World War II he served in the United States Naval Reserve, 1942-1945. He was in law practice in Houston, Texas, 1941-1942, 1945-1951, and taught at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1951-1953, and Harvard, 1953-1979.
He formerly served as a Commissioner on Uniform State Laws in Massachusetts, 1971-1979, and Director, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1973-1976. He served on the Judicial Conference Committee on Admission of Attorneys to Federal Practice, 1976-1985, and the Committee on Court Administration, 1985-1987. He was a member of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, 1987-1990, and Chairman, 1990-1993.