Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, June 21, 2013


Page 3


Obama Nominates Two to Northern District U.S. Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Obama yesterday nominated San Mateo Superior Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman and San Francisco attorney James Donato to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Freeman has been a judge since 2001. and served as assistant presiding judge in 2009 and 2010 and as presiding judge in 2011 and 2012. She was a deputy San Mateo County counsel for 18 years—litigating cases involving child abuse and dependency, and defending county agencies including school districts, the Housing Authority, and the Department of Children and Family Services—before  becoming a judge.

She worked for two private firms between 1979 and 1983. The Washington, D.C. native grew up in San Mateo County and is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School.

She would fill a vacancy created when Judge Jeremy Fogel was named to head the Federal Judicial Center, which by statute creates an additional judgeship in the district.

Freeman was recommended by Sen. Dianne Feinstein after her original choice, Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, was rejected by the White House, reportedly because of his Republican Party registration.

Donato is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where he has worked since 2009.  His practice concentrates on antitrust litigation and class actions.

He also represents Internet companies and equipment manufacturers in matters involving wiretapping, stored communications, computer fraud and abuse, and consumer privacy claims.

Previously, Donato worked at Cooley LLP from 1996 to 2009 and served as a deputy city attorney in San Francisco from 1993 to 1996.  Beginning in 1990, he spent three years working as an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP. 

He clerked for Judge Procter Hug Jr., on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1988 to 1989.  Donato graduated from Stanford Law School, where he was an Executive Board member of the Stanford Law Review, after receiving a master’s degree from Harvard and an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.  

In 2008, he was president of the Bar Association of San Francisco. If confirmed, he will succeed Judge James Ware, who retired last year.

Obama yesterday also nominated Jennifer Prescod May-Parker, chief of the Appellate Division at the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina, to be a judge in that district. She has been a federal prosecutor since 1999, and previously worked at the North Carolina Department of Justice and at the district attorney’s office in Manhattan.


Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company