The United States District Court for the Central District of California announces the appointment of Sheri Pym as a United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Pym was sworn in on April 15, 2011, filling the position vacated by Magistrate Judge Rosalyn M. Chapman, who retired in November 2010. Judge Pym will sit in Riverside in the Court’s Eastern Division.
Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Pym served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Riverside branch office of the United States Attorney’s Office, doing mostly criminal prosecution work. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Pym was an associate at Milberg Weiss LLP in San Diego, where she represented plaintiffs in class actions involving consumer fraud, wage and hour violations, securities fraud, and tobacco litigation, and also worked in the firm’s appellate department.
Judge Pym received her B.A. degree from Williams College in 1989, and her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1994.
Including the appointment of Judge Pym, the Central District of California has 24 authorized full-time and one part-time Magistrate Judge positions. The duties of Magistrate Judges include conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases, the trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases, conducting discovery and various other pretrial hearings in civil cases, the trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants, and other matters as may be assigned. Magistrate Judges are appointed for a term of eight years, and can be reappointed to additional terms.
The Magistrate Judge position requires a minimum of five years as a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, and at least five years of active practice of law. The rigorous selection process, which is governed by statute and by regulations adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States, includes detailed background reviews and interviews before a Merit Selection Panel consisting of attorneys and non-attorney public representatives. The Panel refers candidates to the District Court, where interviews are conducted by the District Court’s Magistrate Judges Committee. The top candidates are then referred to the full Court for review, selection, and appointment.
The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, and serves approximately 18.5 million people – more than half the population of the state of California. In 2010, more than 15,000 cases were filed in the District.
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