California Lawyers Association

Committee on Federal Courts

Patricia A. Donahue was appointed as a Magistrate Judge by the United States Court for the Central District of California in May 2020. Before her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Donahue served with distinction as an Assistant United States Attorney since 1991. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she served in a number of significant roles, including Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section, Chief of the General Crimes Section, Chief of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Section (and… Read more
By Allison L. Westfahl Kong Allison L. Westfahl Kong is a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.  Any views expressed are her own, and do not represent the position of the U.S. Attorney's Office or the U.S. Department of Justice. On September 1, 2021, the Federal Courts Committee of the California Lawyers Association and the Federal Bar Association’s Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, and Northern District of California chapters hosted a webinar about COVID’s continuing… Read more
by Michael L. Huggins and Elaine Zhong A central mission of the California Lawyers Association’s Committee on Federal Courts is to monitor activity across the California federal courts in an effort to keep members of the Litigation Section informed about federal issues that may have an impact on their California practices.  In connection with this mission, the Committee reviews and submits recommendations on issues that affect California federal-court practice. For example, this year, the Committee has reviewed and submitted comments… Read more
For more federal court specific content, please see the Federal Court Committee’s Quarterly Newsletter here. The Federal Court Committee’s full Fourth Quarter 2021 Newsletter includes an interview with Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Donahue (C.D. Cal.); a summary of the Committee’s recent comments on proposed rule changes; and a summary of the recent four-District webinar featuring: U.S. District Court Judges Anthony J. Battaglia (S.D. Cal.), Beth L. Freeman (N.D. Cal.), Philip S. Gutierrez (C.D. Cal.), and Kimberly J. Mueller (E.D. Cal).… Read more
Proposed Rules Amendments Published for Public Comment. The Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (Standing Committee) has published proposed amendments to the following rules: Appellate Rules 2 and 4;Bankruptcy Restyled Rules for the 3000 to 6000 Series; Rules 3002.1, 3011, and 8003; and new Rule 9038;Official Bankruptcy Forms 101, 309E1, 309E2, and 417A; and new Official Forms 410C13-1N, 410C13-1R, 410C13-10C, 410C13-10NC, and 410C13-10R;Civil Rules 15, 72, and new Rule 87;New Criminal Rule 62; andEvidence Rules 106, 615,… Read more
Central District of California Covid-19 Update: All divisions of the Central District of California resumed normal operations on June 15, 2021. Hearings by video or telephonic conference may continue to be held in civil matters at the discretion of the assigned judge. Persons entering the courthouses must follow the CDC’s most recent guidance regarding face coverings or masks, though individual district judges have discretion to require the wearing of masks in their courtrooms. (See Gen. Order 21-08.) Southern District of California… Read more
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the existence of a statutory claim (with statutory damages) combined with a risk of future harm, is not enough to confer standing to sue for damages in federal court. Citing Spokeo v. Robbins, 578 U. S. 330, the Court held that “[t]o have Article III standing to sue in federal court, plaintiffs must demonstrate, among other things, that they suffered a concrete harm.” Read more
Judge Dana Makoto Sabraw was appointed to the Southern District of California by President George W. Bush in 2003 and became Chief Judge in January of 2021. Read more
Pedro V. Castillo was appointed a Magistrate Judge by the United States District Court for the Central District of California in January 2021 Read more
June 2021 Central District of California Covid-19 Update: The court is currently in Phase 3 of its Plan for Phased Resumption of Operations (“Reopening Plan”). All courthouses in the Central District are open to persons with court business and subject to all posted restrictions. In-court hearings will be permitted in all matters at the discretion of the assigned judge. Some hearings may continue to be held by video or telephonic conference. Jury trials are permitted in civil and criminal cases.… Read more

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