California Lawyers Association

Committee on Federal Courts

For more federal courts content, please see the Quarterly Federal Courts Committee Newsletter. This quarter’s newsletter includes an interview with the Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett of the Central District of California. Read more
Judge Garnett was confirmed as a District Judge for the Central District of California in April 2022.  Before becoming a federal district judge, she served as a Superior Court Judge for Los Angeles County since her appointment by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014.  Prior to her appointment as a Superior Court Judge, from 2001 to 2014, Judge Garnett served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California where she served as Domestic Terrorism Coordinator, Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, and Chief of the General Crimes Section.  From 2008 to 2010, Judge Garnett also taught Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. Read more
Jeffrey T. Miller has served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of California since he was appointed in 1997.  At his confirmation hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “Simply put, Judge Miller is one of the most respected and trusted judicial figures in the San Diego area. He is both fair minded and thoughtful, yet remains tough and decisive.” Read more
In response to proposals from the California Civility Task Force (CCTF)[1] for improving civility in the legal profession, the California State Bar Board of Trustees has adopted for public comment three of the CCTF’s key proposals Read more
Mack Jenkins is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and Chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  Mack is a graduate of Yale Law School and joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2008. He prosecutes and supervises the prosecution of some of the most impactful and sensitive matters in the Department of Justice.  Read more
In this interview, Judge Wilner shares what motivated him to pursue the bench, his experience transitioning from advocate to neutral, his views on what makes a successful advocate, and the importance of professionalism and civility in the federal courts. Read more
Judge Jennifer L. Thurston received her commission on December 27, 2021, filling the seat formerly held by the Hon. Lawrence J. O’Neill. Likely familiar to many FBA members, Judge Thurston served our district as a United States Magistrate Judge for twelve years before joining the district court bench. Before that, she litigated a huge variety of cases in Kern County including civil rights, personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, election law, subrogation, and employment disputes. And she was a Certified Appellate Specialist, with more than 100 appeals and writs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court under her belt. Read more
On Friday, May 13, 2022, judges from each of the four District Courts in California joined CLA’s Annual Litigation & Appellate Summit for a Judges’ Town Hall. Mariam Kaloustian moderated a thoughtful discussion with the Honorable Yvonne Gonzales Rogers from the Northern District, the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez Read more
Before becoming a Judge, Jill Burkhardt was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California, Criminal Division. She started her career as an associate at Baker and McKenzie. Judge Burkhardt earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she graduated Cum Laude. In this interview, Judge Burkhardt discusses her path to the Bench, her experience transitioning from advocate to judge, and the importance of professionalism and civility in the legal profession. Read more
For the first time in the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, a Black woman will join the Bench of our nation’s highest court: on April 7, 2022, the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Soon-to-be Justice Jackson’s ascension also marks the first time in history where 4 of the 9 justices are women. Read more

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