Friday, October 3, 2008
Schiavelli Joining JAMS, Brown White
By a MetNews Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge George Schiavelli of the Central District of California will be moving into private judging and private appellate practice on Monday.
The 59-year old jurist, who recently notified colleagues he would be leaving the court, confirmed yesterday that he will be joining the downtown office of JAMS, and would also affiliate with the white collar criminal defense and business litigation boutique firm Brown, White & Newhouse LLP.
Schiavelli said he anticipated that the vast majority of his time would be spent at JAMS. He said that he selected the organization because he felt its “excellent reputation, efficient business model and array of complex, sophisticated matters” were “most compatible” with his needs and the type of practice he said he wants to have as a neutral arbiter.
At Brown White, Schiavelli said he will be consulting as of counsel for appellate matters. He said he had great respect for the firm “because it is a small firm of extremely talented attorneys handling sophisticated matters and yet maintaining a very congenial atmosphere.”
Ken White said the firm was “thrilled” to have Schiavelli join the firm. “Having a federal judge join, how could you say no?” he asked jokingly.
He praised the jurist’s “tremendous experience with a broad range of practice areas” and said he’s “a genuinely nice and funny guy too” whom he predicted would be an asset to the firm’s practice and collegiality.
The firm moved to a larger space last month, White said, and they were “happy to be able to have space” for the jurist to occupy. “He’ll be able to overlook his former digs at the courthouse,” White added.
Brown White was founded in 2005 by two former federal prosecutors. With Schiavelli, the firm will boast 12 attorneys.
Schiavelli, a onetime Stanford University football player, has been working full-time since returning to the court earlier this year following a full knee replacement, which he has described as successful. But he said he faces replacement of the other knee, as well as additional surgeries to treat injuries cased by a tumble he took from an escalator three years ago.
The judge served on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1994 to 2000—he was presiding judge of the Appellate Division prior to his departure—and was appointed to the federal bench four years ago by President Bush.
He resigned from the bench in order to boost his income by returning to law practice in light of his mother’s medical needs, and, following her death, was confirmed as a judge of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California in 2004.
Much of his legal career was devoted to appellate work. After graduating from UCLA law school, he worked at O’Melveny & Myers before he became a partner at Ervin, Cohen & Jessup and later at Horvitz & Levy, where he was working at the time then-Gov. Pete Wilson tapped him for the bench.
When he returned to the private sector, it was as of counsel to the appellate group of Crosby Heafy Roach & May, which later merged into Reed Smith. He also worked as a private judge.
He is a past president of the Italian American Lawyers Association and served from 1980 to 1982 on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He also shared MetNews Person of the Year honors last year.
Schiavelli’s departure will create a second vacancy on the court, which is unlikely to be filled this year due to the pendency of federal elections. The president’s nominee for the current vacancy, Orange Superior Court Judge James Rogan, has not received a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company