Judge Steve Kim

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Since his appointment to the bench in 2016, Judge Kim has presided over civil cases of all types under the district court’s voluntary consent and direct assignment programs.  He has presided over bench and jury trials involving federal misdemeanors, copyright disputes, trademark registration matters, and ADA disability claims, to name a few.  His heavy trial docket has also included considerable dispositive motion practice in product liability cases, Title VII employment disputes, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights suits, and many other federal court matters.  Judge Kim maintains a busy ADR calendar, as well, with a higher than 75 percent success rate as a neutral settlement officer.  And drawing on his experience in digital risk management consulting, Judge Kim regularly resolves complex discovery disputes involving computer forensic examinations, source code reviews, data spoliation, and ESI workflows.

Judge Kim is active, too, in court governance and bench-bar organizations.  He is a member (and former chair) of the Ninth Circuit’s information technology committee and a member of the Ninth Circuit’s judicial security committee.  He has served on the board of governors and judicial advisory council for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Los Angeles), as well as on the executive committee for the litigation section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  He is also on NAPABA’s judicial council and in working groups for the Sedona Conference.  In 2021, he was elected to lifetime membership in the American Law Institute.

Before taking the bench, Judge Kim worked in both public and private sectors.  He was a civil litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP and then a criminal prosecutor in the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office.  Afterward, he was a managing director for Stroz Friedberg, LLC, specializing in law and technology matters.  Judge Kim also clerked for Judge Stephen V. Wilson on the same court where he now serves and for Judge Sidney R. Thomas on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He received his B.A., with special distinction, from the University of Oklahoma, where he was the Carl Albert Award recipient for the most distinguished graduate in the college of arts and sciences.  And he earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was inducted to the order of the coif and served on the school’s law review. 

Judge Kim keeps chambers in Los Angeles.