Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, November 19, 2010


Page 1


Obama Nominates Kronstadt to U.S. District Court




President Obama has nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kronstadt, who was nominated Wednesday, would succeed the late Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

The 59-year-old jurist has presided over criminal, civil, and family law matters since his appointment by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2002. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he spent 24 years in private practice.

Civil Litigator

He was a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP in Century City from 2000 until he received his judicial appointment, and at Blanc Williams Johnston & Kronstadt from 1985 to 2000, and specialized in complex civil litigation. Kronstadt began his law practice in the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, where he was a partner from 1984 to 1985 and an associate from 1978 to 1983. 

From 1976 to 1977, he was a law clerk to Judge William P. Gray of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He is a 1976 graduate of Yale Law School and received an undergraduate degree in 1973 from Cornell University.  

Committee Chair

He has been active in the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which gave him an award as outstanding committee chair, and served on the board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. He has also chaired the Superior Court’s Outreach Committee.

He is married to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Helen Bendix.

Kronstadt, who has recently been presiding over a trial to determine ownership of the 180,000-carat Bahia Emerald, was unavailable yesterday for comment.

One vacancy remains in the Central District, resulting from the resignation of Judge Stephen Larson in November of last year. Another vacancy will open up when Judge A. Howard Matz takes senior status in July of next year.

The president’s nominees in other districts were:

•Pittsburgh-based U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Bissoon to be a district judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Bissoon has been a magistrate judge since 2008 and was previously a labor lawyer in Reed Smith’s Pittsburgh office.

•Vincent L. Briccetti, a specialist in white-collar criminal defense and partner in a White Plains firm, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He is a former federal prosecutor and was once an associate in the Stamford, Conn. office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, & Walker.

•Roy B. Dalton Jr., an Orlando-area practitioner for more than 30 years, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Dalton Dalton also served as counsel to then-U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, R-Fla., from 2005 to 2006. 

•Sara Lynn Darrow, an assistant United States attorney for the Central District of Illinois, where she is chief of the violent crimes section, to the U.S. District Court in that district. She was previously a state prosecutor in Cambridge, Ill.

•Kevin H. Sharp, a Nashville attorney whose practice focuses on federal court litigation, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Sharp was as an attorney in the Office of Compliance of the U.S. Congress, which enforces the requirement that Congress comply with labor laws in its dealings with its own employees, from 1996 to 1997 and is a U.S. Navy veteran.


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