Federal Courts District Update – December 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 Sunshine Sykes of the Central District of California.

We are looking for three 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 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)

Admission Fee Increases: Effective December 1, 2023, Court admission fees (including Pro Hac Vice admission fees) will be raised to $224.00. (GO 731-A and GO 301-K)

Retroactive Sentencing Changes: The Court adopted a protocol for processing applications for retroactive sentencing changes under Amendment 821 to the sentencing guidelines.  (GO 755)

History Committee: The Court appointed several individuals to the Court History Committee. (CJO #2-E)

Central District of California

Judicial Appointments:On November 9, 2023, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Mónica Ramírez Almadani to serve as a District Judge for Central District of California.  She will preside in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division.  (Notice)

On November 7, 2023, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Magistrate Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to serve as a District Judge for the Central District of California.  Judge Kato will preside in Riverside in the Court’s Eastern Division. (Notice)

David T. Bristow has been appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge.  He will preside in the Court’s Eastern Division.  (Notice)

Eastern District of California

Judicial Appointments:
On November 13, The Senate confirmed the nomination of District Judge Ana de Alba to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

President Biden has nominated AUSA Kirk Sheriff to a district judge position created by the elevation of Judge de Alba. (Notice.) Kirk Sherriff has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California since 2002 and he served as Chief of the District’s Fresno office since 2015.

Northern District of California

Judges: The Honorable Edward J. Davila announced his intention to take senior status upon confirmation of his successor. (Notice.)

Local Rules: The judges of the Northern District of California have approved amendments to the Patent Local Rules. The proposed revisions can be found here. The amendments seek to achieve the following goals:

  • Require the party asserting infringement to produce all licenses that may be relevant without worrying about “comparability” or limitation to licenses that might be relevant to hypothetical license negotiations, because such agreements are relevant for other purposes, and relevance is in the eye of the beholder;
  • Require greater specificity regarding damages theories, and then hold the disclosing party to their disclosed theories absent leave of court; 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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