Federal Courts District Update — September 2023

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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 Judge Schopler, one of two recently appointed District Judges in Southern District of California and a memoriam for Judge Lew of the Central District by his former law clerks.

If you are interested in applying to join the Federal Courts Committee, please apply at

Southern District of California

Hon. David H. Bartick Award for Civility and Professionalism: On August 18, 2023, the Southern District announced the selection of Edward Patrick (Pat) Swan, Jr. as the 2023 recipient of the Hon. David H. Bartick Award for Civility and Professionalism. (Press Release.)

State of the District: The Southern District’s annual State of the District Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. Attendees will receive updates regarding the operation of the Court from Chief Judge Dana M. Sabraw, Presiding Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Christopher B. Latham, and Ninth Circuit Judge John B. Owens. The Southern District will also present the annual Bartick Award. Purchase tickets here.

Central District of California

The Court intends to reappoint U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim to an additional eight-year term. The public notice of intent to consider the reappointment can be found here. Comments from members of the Bar and public are invited.

Effective August 21, 2023, the Criminal Duty Courtroom will relocate to Courtroom 640 on the 6th floor at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse.

Eastern District of California

Eastern District Conference: The Eastern District Conference will take place at the Everline Report in Lake Tahoe from October 20-22, 2023. Registration for the conference itself closes on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives: The Eastern District is accepting applications to serve as a Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative. To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume to Sacramento Chapter FBA President Kristen Koo at, no later than Monday, September 11, 2023.  For more information, visit

Local Rules: The judges of the Eastern District of California have amended Rule 120. Effective August 7, 2023, cases arising in Stanislaus and Calaveras Counties will be assigned to the Sacramento courthouse.

Northern District of California

Judicial Appointments: On July 27, 2023, President Biden nominated Eumi Lee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Lee currently serves as a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County.

Local Rules: The judges of the Northern District approved proposed substantive modifications to the Patent Local Rules. The proposed revisions can be found here. Public comments may be submitted until September 18, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. PDT via email to The proposed amendments seek to achieve the following goals:

  • Require the party asserting infringement to produce all licenses that may be relevant to the accused instrumentality without worrying about “comparability” or relevance only to hypothetical license negotiations;
  • Require greater specificity regarding damages theories, and then hold the disclosing party to their disclosed theories; and
  • Require a meeting between counsel and clients to discuss settlement shortly after service of the damages contentions, with a written certification that the meeting occurred.

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