Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Page 3


Obama Nominates Local Attorney Paul Watford to Ninth Circuit


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


President Barack Obama yesterday nominated Los Angeles attorney Paul J. Watford to serve as a judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If confirmed by the Senate, Watford would fill a judgeship left vacant when Judge

Pamela Ann Rymer died on Sept. 21.

Watford, 44, is a litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, where he has worked since 2001. His practice focuses primarily on appellate litigation in state and federal courts.

He first joined the firm as an associate in 1996 then left in 1997 to serve as an assistant U.S. attorney until 2000 in the Central District of California, where he worked in the Major Frauds Section, Criminal Division.

The attorney was also an associate at Sidley & Austin LLP in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2001.

Watford clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski, now chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, from 1994 to 1995, and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 1995 to 1996.

He attended UC Berkeley before graduating, Order of the Coif, from UCLA, where he was editor of the UCLA Law Review.

The Ninth Circuit hears appeals of cases decided by executive branch agencies and federal trial courts in nine western states and two Pacific Island jurisdictions. The court normally meets monthly in Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, and Pasadena; every other month in Portland, Ore.; three times per year in Honolulu,; and twice a year in Anchorage.

It is authorized 29 judgeships, four of which are currently vacant.

Judges of the federal appellate courts, who are appointed under Article III of the Constitution, are nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate and serve lifetime appointments upon good behavior.

The current annual salary of a circuit judge is $184,500.


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