Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Ninth Circuit Reappoints Maria Stratton As Federal Public Defender
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reappointed Maria Stratton as federal public defender for the Central District of California, court officials said yesterday,
Stratton has been the federal public defender for the Central District since 1993. She was reappointed in 1997 and 2001.
Her new four-year appointment is effective June 21, 2005.
Federal public defenders represent indigent defendants charged with federal crimes, and in some districts, including the Central District, they represent defendants seeking federal capital habeas review of state death penalty cases. Stratton supervises a staff of 160, including 60 attorneys, working in offices in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Riverside.
Prior to her appointment to her present post, Stratton had been the managing partner of a Los Angeles law firm and a deputy federal public defender in the Central
District. She was honored in 1992 with the California State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.
A California native, Stratton received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law.
By statute, judges of the federal courts of appeals select and appoint each federal public defender—some serve a single district, others serve contiguous districts within the same circuit—for a renewable term of four years.
The court makes its initial appointment after a nationwide recruitment and the use of a local screening committee pursuant to federal diversity guidelines. A federal public defender may be reappointed, after a period for public comment and a performance evaluation, if the court concludes that he or she is performing in a “highly satisfactory” manner.
Stratton was unavailable yesterday for comment on her reappointment.
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