Federal Courts Update – February 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 the Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller and an article summarizing the proposed civility changes to rules of professional conduct and rules of court.

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

Southern District of California

CJA Fee Increase: The Court increased the investigator fees allowed under the Criminal Justice Act to $80 – $100/hour depending on the skill level required and increased the interpreter fees allowed under the Act to $60-$80/hour, depending on the interpreter’s qualifications.  (General Order Nos. 247-G and 527-C)

Central District of California

Judicial Appointments and Nominations

Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson was appointed chief magistrate judge effective January 1, 2023. (Notice.)

 The Central District is inviting comment on the potential reappointment of Magistrate Judge Karen Scott, who sits in the Southern Division courthouse in Santa Ana and Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Stevenson.  Comments must be received no later than February 10, 2023. (Notice and Notice.)

 On January 23, 2023, the President nominated Wesley L. Hsu and Monica Ramirez Almadani to the District Court.  If confirmed, Hsu will fill the seat held by Judge Virginia A. Phillips and Almadani will fill the seat held by Judge John A. Kronstadt.

Eastern District of California

Judicial Appointments – The Court is considering the reappointment of Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean to a new 8-year term.  Magistrate Grosjean’s current term expires on October 11, 2023.  Comments from members of the bar and the public are invited and must be received by no later than Wednesday, March 15, 2023.  (Notice.)

Northern District of California

Judicial Appointments – The Court selected Peter H. Kang to fill the magistrate judgeship in March 2023, when Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero transitions to recall status. (Notice).

Judicial Changes – District Judge William H. Orrick will take senior status effective May 17, 2023.  He will carry a caseload as a Senior District Judge, remain active in court governance and judicial administration, and will continue his work on various court committees.

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