Senate Confirms Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell as U.S. District Judge for Central District of California

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

On April 15, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to serve as a United States district judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Judge Reid O’Connell was nominated by President Obama on November 14, 2012 and re-nominated on January 4, 2013 because the Senate had not voted on her nomination before the conclusion of the 112th Congress.  She will preside over matters in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division. 

Judge Reid O’Connell has served as a Superior Court Judge for Los Angeles County since her appointment by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, and has presided over thousands of cases and approximately 150 jury trials.  For a five-month period in 2010 and 2011, she sat by designation on the California Court of Appeal for the Second District, Division 8, and she currently serves as the Supervising Judge for the North Valley District of the Superior Court.  At the Superior Court, she has served on its Executive Committee and was involved in new judge orientation, community outreach programs, and civic education programs. 

Prior to her appointment as a Superior Court Judge, Judge Reid O’Connell served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California from 1995 to 2005.  While with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she helped lead high-profile criminal prosecutions in narcotics, organized crime, and domestic terrorism cases, including cases that earned her awards of distinction from federal law enforcement officials.  She also won a number of awards, including the Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator’s Award for Exceptional Service Rendered to the Federal Government and a Special Achievement Award from the Department of Justice.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she practiced law at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 1990 to 1995, handling a variety of civil litigation matters.

In addition to her duties at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and later on the bench, Judge Reid O’Connell has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law since 1998 and at Loyola Law School since 1999.  She was also active in various bar associations, and served in various offices and on the Board of Governors of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Judge Reid O’Connell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Juris Doctor degree in 1990 from the Pepperdine University School of Law, from which she graduated magna cum laude and where she served as managing editor of the Pepperdine Law Review.

The Central District of California has 28 authorized Article III judgeships.  Judge Reid O’Connell fills the vacancy that arose when District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank assumed senior status on March 1, 2012. 

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 18.7 million people – nearly half the population of the state of California.  Last year, over 17,000 cases were filed in the District.

Terry Nafisi
District Court Executive