Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Wu Confirmed as U.S. District Judge
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George H. Wu was confirmed yesterday as a U.S. district judge for the Central District of California.
The Senate confirmed Wu, 56, by a vote of 95-0. He will likely be sworn in sometime in the next few weeks.
The judge could not be reached for comment. A staff member said he was on vacation.
Following his nomination last September, he told the MetNews he will miss being on the Superior Court, which he called a “fantastic job,” but said his experience there will serve him well on the federal bench.
“I really do think you need experience to get a sense of who you are and a sense of yourself as a judge,” he said. Plus, he added, everybody makes mistakes and he didn’t want to make them in such a high profile position.
Wu, who has a civil fast-track assignment in downtown Los Angeles, was named by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1993, and to the Superior Court in 1996.
The New York City native graduated from Pomona College in Claremont in 1972 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1975. Wu began his legal career as an associate with the law firm of Latham & Watkins in 1975 and became a law clerk to the late Judge Stanley N. Barnes of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the following year.
He clerked for Barnes from 1976 to 1977 and again in 1979, returning to Latham & Watkins in between. He left the firm to become an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he taught from 1979 to 1982.
Moving back to Los Angeles, he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1982 to 1989, and as an associate with the law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, 1989 to 1991, when he returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to serve as assistant chief of the Civil Division.
He held that position until his appointment to the bench in 1993.
Among his high-profile cases was last year’s trial of a suit by conservative Christian activist Jesse Lee Peterson against the Rev. Jesse Jackson, his son Jonathan Jackson, and others.
Peterson claimed he was assaulted by the Jacksons at an event hosted by Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in December 2001. A Superior Court jury rejected battery claims against both Jacksons, and split evenly on a claim that Jonathan Jackson threatened Peterson with bodily harm.
When he takes office, he will fill the vacancy created when Judge Ronald S.W. Lew took senior status last September. There will then be only one vacancy on the court, the seat that Nora Manella vacated when she became a California Court of Appeal justice last May.
Orange Superior Court Judge James Rogan was nominated for that seat Nov. 15 and is awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company