Senate Confirms Magistrate Judge Fernando M. Olguin as U.S. District Judge for Central District of California

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On December 17, 2012, by voice vote, the United States Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Magistrate Judge Fernando M. Olguin to serve as a federal district judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Judge Olguin, who was nominated by President Obama on May 14, 2012, will preside over matters in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division. 

Judge Olguin has been a magistrate judge for the Central District of California since July 2001, sitting in the Court’s Western Division.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Olguin spent six years as a partner in the Pasadena-based law firm of Traber, Voorhees & Olguin, where he primarily handled civil rights and labor cases.  From 1994 to 1995, he was the National Director of the Education Program of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice from 1991 to 1994, enforcing the Fair Housing Act and the Public Accommodations Act.

Judge Olguin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 from Harvard University, graduating cum laude, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1989.  After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Carl S. Muecke of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

As a magistrate judge, Judge Olguin has served on the Human Resources Advisory Council and the Pro Se Working Group of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and numerous District Court judicial committees, and is currently on the Court’s Magistrate Judges Committee.  He has also been active in bar associations and civic organizations, and is a member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section and Judicial Division, the Federal Bar Association, the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the Mexican-American Bar Association.  Judge Olguin has also served on the Board of Directors of the Western Justice Center Foundation and as Vice-President, Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of Centro Latino for Literacy.

Judge Olguin fills the vacancy created when former district judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in May 2012.  The Central District of California has 28 authorized Article III judgeships, one of which remains vacant.  That vacancy is in the Court’s Western Division, and arose when District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank assumed senior status in March 2012.  On November 14, 2012, President Obama nominated Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to fill this vacancy.

The Central District of California is comprised of the seven counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura, and serves approximately 18.5 million people – nearly half the population of the state of California.  Last year, over 16,500 cases were filed in the District.

Terry Nafisi
District Court Executive