Monday, August 10, 2009
Obama Nominates Dolly Gee to U.S. District Court Bench
President Also Names Two Magistrates to Northern District Judgeships
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers managing partner Dolly Gee to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and tapped two federal magistrates to serve as judges in the Northern District.
Gee, 50, is Obama’s second nominee to the Central District, following Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen, who was nominated July 31.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gee and Nguyen would be the first Asian-American female judges for the Central District.
Gee practices labor and employment litigation, specializing in state and federal court litigation, administrative hearings, arbitrations and the representation of teachers under California’s Education Code.
She was admitted to the State Bar in 1984 after attending college and law school at UCLA, where she externed for California Supreme Court Justice Allen E. Broussard. After law school, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Milton Schwartz of the Eastern District of California.
In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton appointed Gee to a five-year term on the Federal Service Impasses Panel in Washington, D.C., where she mediated and arbitrated disputes and participated in summary dispositions of impasses between federal agencies and federal sector labor unions.
Clinton nominated Gee for a judgeship on the Central District in 1999, but the nomination stalled amid Republican senators’ opposition to Clinton’s judicial nominations.
Gee has been an arbitrator for the Kaiser Permanente Independent Arbitration System since 2000, and worked as a regional coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters supervising delegate and officer elections in 1995-96, 1999-2000 and 2005-06. During the elections, she investigated and recommended dispositions for election protests relating to alleged violations of election rules.
A former trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Gee is a past president of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, a founder and advisory board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, and a member of the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.
She also has served as a board member of the Western Center on Law & Poverty, the California Women’s Law Center and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California; as a member of the State Bar of California’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission; as a Central District lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference; and as a member of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board.
In other news, Obama on Friday also nominated U.S. Magistrate Judges Edward M. Chen and Richard G. Seeborg to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Both men have served on the Northern District bench since 2001.
Chen, 56, sits in San Francisco and was recently reappointed to a second eight-year term. He previously worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern California chapter, from 1985-2001, and as an associate at the San Francisco firm of Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer in the preceding three years.
A graduate of UC Berkeley and Boalt Hall School of Law, he was admitted to the State Bar in 1980 and served as a judicial clerk to U.S. District Judge Charles B. Renfrew of the Northern District of California and Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James R. Browning.
Chen was nominated to fill the judgeship left vacant when then-U.S. District Judge Martin J. Jenkins resigned in 2008 to join the California Court of Appeal.
Seeborg, 52, sits in San Jose, and was also recently reappointed to a second term. Before joining the federal bench, he worked at Morrison & Foerster, in both Palo Alto and San Francisco, where he served as an equity partner from 1998-2000 and as an associate from 1982-1991. Between his two tenures at Morrison & Foerster, Seeborg served as an assistant U.S. attorney in San Jose.
Admitted to the State Bar in 1982, Seeborg attended Yale College and Columbia University School of Law before serving as a judicial clerk to U.S. District Judge John H. Pratt of the District of Columbia.
He was nominated to fill the vacancy created June 30 when U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney assumed senior status.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company