Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 28, 2009


Page 3


U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson to Join Girardi | Keese


By a MetNews Staff Writer


U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson will join Girardi | Keese as a partner when his resignation takes effect at the beginning of November, the firm said Friday.

“The firm is massively happy that Judge Larson will be with us,” firm head Thomas Girardi said in a statement. “I feel like the guy at the Yankees who hired Babe Ruth. The judge is a true legal scholar, a great legal writer and, more importantly, a great gentleman. The intellectual property cases, anti-trust cases and the complex business litigation in the firm will be impacted greatly by his being here.”

A firm spokesperson said that in addition to litigating those cases, Larson—who recently presided over the complex Bratz doll intellectual property litigation—would be “advising the firm across the board.”

Larson recently informed his colleagues that he was going to resign after less than four years on the bench. The 44-year-old jurist cited the failure of efforts to increase the annual salary for the office—district judges are paid less than $180,000 annually—and the anticipated costs of future college educations for his seven children.

While those financial issues weighed heavily, he said in a release Friday, “a very important aspect of the decision is the opportunity to join the law firm of Girardi | Keese.” He cited the firm’s “dedicated, superb lawyers” and the ability to “continue to serve people and justice.”

Larson was nominated as a district judge by then-President George W. Bush in 2005 and confirmed by the Senate the following year, after having been appointed a magistrate judge in 2000. He has sat in Riverside for the last nine years.

After beginning his legal career as a civil litigator at O’Melveny and Meyers, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for almost a decade, including serving as coordinator of the office’s Russian Organized Crime Unit and chief of the Organized Strike Force.

He received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University and is a graduate of USC Law School. He has also taught at Glendale College of Law and California Southern Law School, and currently teaches at the University of La Verne College of Law.

Larson also serves on the executive committee of the State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, which is helping to train judges from that country. He was awarded the Erwin Chemerinsky “Defender of the Constitution Award” by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for his work on the project.


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