Federal Courts District Update – February 2024

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For more federal courts content, please see the Quarterly Federal Courts Committee Newsletter. This quarter’s newsletter includes an interview with United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

We are looking for two new members to join our Federal Courts Committee. If you are interested, please apply at or email Committee Chair Jenn French for more information.

Southern District of California

Judicial Appointments

The Court designated the Honorable D. Thomas Ferraro, a magistrate judge in the District of Arizona, to perform the duties of a magistrate judge in the Southern District of California from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024. The Court will coordinate with Judge Ferraro so that his assistance will not conflict with the performance of his current assignments to the District of Arizona. (GO 111)

The Court appointed Valerie E. Torres as a full time United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Torres litigated in private practice for 12 years before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California in 2014. (GO 757)

Magistrate Judge Applications: The Court is accepting applications to serve as a Magistrate Judge in the seat vacated by the anticipated retirement of Magistrate Judge Skomal in April 2024. Applications must be received no later than 5:00 pm on February 2, 2014. (GO 756) (Information for Applicants and Application)

Central District of California

Local Rules Changes: The Court preliminary approved amendments the local rules listed below. The proposed effective date is June 1, 2024.

  • Civil L.R. 5-3.1.1 (Serving Documents)
  • Civil L.R. 5-4.1 (Electronic Filing)
  • Civil L.R. 5-4.2 (Exceptions to Electronic Filing)
  • Civil L.R. 11-3.1 (Documents – Form and Format)
  • Criminal L.R. 49-1.2 (Exceptions to Electronic Filing)

A redline showing the changes can be found here.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Comments must be submitted no later than March 20, 2024. All timely received comments will be considered by the Court before final adoption of the rules.

Eastern District of California

Judicial Appointments

On January 31, 2024, the Senate confirmed Kirk E. Sherriff to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of California. Sherriff will join U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston as one of the two Article III judges in Fresno.  As of the end of December 2023, the average combined civil and criminal caseload for a Fresno U.S. district judge is 1,064, among the highest in the nation, according to Clerk of Court Keith Holland. Given Sherriff’s tenure (over 20 years) in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the court will work to reassign criminal cases to other judges as needed for a period of time to address conflicts of interest.

Effective February 8, 2024, the Court designated United States Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney as Chief Magistrate Judge, for a term of five years, or until further order of the Court. GO 674.

Northern District of California

Judges: Retired United States Magistrate Judge Patricia Trumbull passed away on January 14, 2023 at the age of 78. Judge Legge served as a district judge from 1987 until her retirement in 2010. Further information about Judge Trumbull’s life can be found here.

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