Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, June 29, 2012


Page 1


Senate Committee Puts Off Vote on Bernal Nomination


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Senate Judiciary Committee did not hold a scheduled vote yesterday on President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The committee wrote on its website that the votes on Deputy Federal Public Defender Jesus G. Bernal and two other judicial nominees had to be put off because the committee lacked a quorum. No new date was given for the vote.

Bernal, directing attorney of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Riverside, has been a deputy federal public defender in the district since 1996. The 48-year-old nominee 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. The American Bar Association reported that a majority of its evaluating committee voted to give him a “qualified” rating, with the minority saying he is “not qualified.”

The other judicial nominees not voted on yesterday were Terrence G. Berg, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan nominated to serve as a judge in that district, and Lorna G. Schofield, who has been affiliated with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City since 1988, to the U.S. District Court for the  Southern District of New York.

The committee also had to put off a vote on the nomination of Danny C. Williams to be U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Williams, an eminent domain specialist, is a former state prosecutor and is now a partner in a Tulsa law firm.

The Mississippi native, who graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans and from the University of Tulsa’s law school, was recommended for the post by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company