Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Page 1


Paul Hastings Partner Gandhi Named Magistrate Judge


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California yesterday announced that Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker partner Vijay “Jay” C. Gandhi has been named a magistrate judge.

A court spokesperson said that Gandhi, upon taking his oath of office tomorrow, will become the first Indian-American federal judge in the Central District and the second Indian-American federal judge in the country’s history.

At age 38, Gandhi will also be one of the youngest federal judges currently serving in the Central District, the spokesperson added.

Gandhi previously served as vice-chair of Paul Hastings’ Orange County office, and was elected to equity partner in 2006. His practice includes complex business litigation, with a primary emphasis on securities litigation matters, and a secondary emphasis on commercial and class action matters.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings an associate in 1998, Gandhi clerked for U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt of the Southern District of Texas.

A 1994 graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Gandhi received his law degree from USC in 1997 and was admitted to practice that year.

He sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association.

Gandhi has also participated in the Trial Attorney Partnership with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, an eight-week volunteer program allowing private attorneys to work on a full-time basis as deputy district attorneys.

The Central District of California is the largest district in the nation and is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. It serves more than 19 million people and, last year, more than 14,900 cases were filed in the district, a court spokesperson said.

Once Gandhi takes the bench, the Central District will have 23 authorized full-time—and one part-time—magistrate judges.

A magistrate judge’s duties include conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases, trying and disposing of misdemeanor cases, ruling on discovery disputes in civil cases, issuing reports and recommendations in habeas corpus and civil rights cases, trying and disposing of civil cases upon litigants’ consent, and other matters as may be assigned. 

Magistrate judges are appointed for a term of eight years and can be reappointed to additional terms. The appointment process is governed by statute and by regulations adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States, including detailed background reviews and interviews before a merit selection panel consisting of attorneys and public representatives.

The panel refers candidates to the district court, where interviews are conducted by the court’s Magistrate Judges Committee. The top candidates are then referred to the full court for review, selection and appointment.


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