Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, April 26, 2012


Page 1


President Obama Nominates Jesus Bernal to Central District Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Obama yesterday nominated Jesus G. Bernal, directing attorney of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Riverside, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Bernal, 48, has been a deputy federal public defender in the district since 1996. He worked in the Los Angeles office until 2006, when he took up his present position in Riverside.

He is also a former secretary of the Riverside County Bar Association.

He began his legal career as a law clerk to then-Judge David V. Kenyon of the Central District from 1989 to 1991. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1990, and after completing his clerkship worked for almost five years as a litigation associate at the law firm of Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe LLP in Los Angeles, focusing primarily on complex civil litigation.

He graduated from Yale University in 1986 and Stanford Law School in 1989.

Two Vacancies

There are currently two vacancies in the district, as Judge Stephen G. Larson resigned in November 2009 to enter private practice and Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank took senior status last month. Another vacancy will occur if and when Judge Jacqueline Nguyen is elevated to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to which she was nominated last September. 

Obama yesterday also nominated three candidates to judgeships in other districts.

Terrence G. Berg, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan, was nominated to serve as a judge in that district. He has been a state and federal prosecutor for more than 20 years and was interim U.S. attorney for the district from 2008 to 2010.

After serving as interim U.S. attorney, he was detailed to two other assignments, first to the Middle District of Georgia, where he served as first assistant U.S. attorney, and then to Washington, D.C., where he has served since last year with the Professional Misconduct Review Unit.

His undergraduate and law degrees are from Georgetown University.

Two Women Nominated

Shelly Deckert Dick, a partner in a Baton Rouge law firm, was nominated for the bench in the Middle District of Louisiana. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and of Louisiana State University’s law school.

Lorna G. Schofield, who has been affiliated with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City since 1988, focusing her practice on complex civil litigation and white collar criminal defense, was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the  Southern District of New York.

She is a former federal prosecutor and a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section, and graduated from Indiana University and New York University School of law.

“I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench,” the president said in a statement.  “They will be distinguished public servants and valuable additions to the United States District Court.”


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