Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, July 21, 2011


Page 1


Obama Nominates Michael Fitzgerald for U.S. District Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


White House officials yesterday announced President Barack Obama’s selection of Los Angeles attorney Michael W. Fitzgerald to serve as a district judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

If confirmed by the Senate, Fitzgerald, 52, will fill a judgeship left vacant when U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz took senior status on July 11, and be the first openly gay federal judge confirmed to serve in California.

Fitzgerald has been a partner in the firm of Corbin, Fitzgerald & Athey LLP since 1998. He previously worked for the Law Offices of Robert L. Corbin PC, from 1995 to 1998, and for Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe LLP from 1991 to 1995.

Before entering private practice, Fitzgerald served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California for three years.

Fitzgerald serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and is a member of the American Bar Association’s White-Collar Crime Committee, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.

He served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, from 2006 to 2008, and on the Ninth Circuit Attorney Admission Fund Committee, from 2001 to 2003.

A Los Angeles native, Fitzgerald graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1981, and was Order of Coif in 1985 at the UC Berkeley, where he served as managing editor of the Industrial Relations Law Journal.

Fitzgerald clerked for Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Irving R. Kaufman after graduating from law school and joined the State Bar in 1987.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is one of the nation’s busiest federal trial courts with 15,279 new case filings in fiscal year 2010, court officials said. It is authorized 28 judgeships, including one temporary judgeship, and currently has two vacancies.

Federal district court judges, appointed under Art. III of the Constitution, are nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate and serve lifetime appointments upon good behavior. Their current annual salary is $174,000.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who recommened the appointment, yesterday said she was “pleased” by Obama’s decision. She predicted that Fitzgerald’s “sharp intellect, record of public service and broad legal experience will be a real asset on the federal bench.”


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