Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, December 17, 2015


Page 1


Obama Taps Abrams for Central District Judgeship


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Barack Obama yesterday nominated Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams for a vacant judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Sen. Barbara Boxer recommended the jurist, describing him as “a highly respected Magistrate Judge who has served the Central District with distinction,” in a statement. “His extensive federal court experience will make him a tremendous addition to the court, and I urge my Senate colleagues to quickly confirm him.” 

The senator said she had recommended Abrams for the seat “after a thorough interview and vetting process by a bipartisan judicial advisory committee.”

A graduate of UC Berkeley and its law school, Abrams was a practicing attorney from 1983 until his appointment as magistrate judge in 2002.

He served as a deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles from 1987 to 2001, being named a supervising deputy in 1992.  From 1985 to 1987, he served as the director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ Valley Rights Project. 

He started his legal career as an associate at what is now Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, where he worked from 1983 to 1985.

The president yesterday nominated three other candidates for district judgeships.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell of the Western District of Oklahoma was nominated to be a judge of that court. She has held her present position since 2013, having previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the same district.

She served as a clerk, and later a senior clerk, for a federal appellate judge and practiced law in Oklahoma City. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and George Washington University Law School.

Scott L. Palk, assistant dean for students and assistant general counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, was also nominated for a judgeship in that state’s Western District. He has held his present position since 2011, having previously held managerial roles at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for that district and at the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office in Norman.

He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Ronald G. Russell, who practices in Salt Lake City, specializing in commercial litigation and real estate law, was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. He has spent the entirety of his legal career at his present firm, Parr Brown, with the exception of a one-year period in 1984 when he served as a law clerk to a federal judge.

A former mayor of Centerville, he is a graduate of Weber State College and the University of Utah College of Law.


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