Senate Confirms Superior Court Judge Hernán D. Vera as United States District Judge for the Central District of California

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On June 13, 2023, the United States Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hernán D. Vera to serve as a federal district judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Judge Vera will preside over matters in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division.

Judge Vera has served as a Superior Court Judge for Los Angeles County in the Juvenile Division since his appointment by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020.  Judge Vera has handled dependency cases, adjudicating child abuse and neglect cases brought on behalf of minors.  Prior to his appointment as a Superior Court Judge, from 2015 to 2020, Judge Vera worked as a principal at Bird Marella P.C.  While at Bird Marella, he litigated and tried complex business disputes, representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court practice focused on commercial civil litigation, with an emphasis on intellectual property and business-related torts.  He also maintained a robust pro bono practice.

From 2002 to 2014, Judge Vera worked at the pro bono law firm Public Counsel where he served as the Directing Attorney of the Consumer Law Project from 2002 to 2008, and then as the President and CEO from 2008 to 2014.  As the Directing Attorney of the Consumer Law Project, Judge Vera litigated hundreds of consumer fraud matters on behalf of low-income, disabled, and elderly clients, as well as numerous class actions and other impact cases in the areas of housing, public benefits, disability law, employment, foreclosure fraud, community development, immigration, education, and other civil rights matters.  While Judge Vera was President and CEO, Public Counsel more than doubled in size to 130 staff and more than 3,000 volunteers annually.

Before joining Public Counsel, Judge Vera worked at O’Melveny & Myers LLP from 1997 to 2002, as well as in 1994 after graduating from law school.  There he worked on all aspects of complex business litigation, with a focus on class actions, insurance defense, and intellectual property.  Judge Vera has served as a law clerk to the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall on the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and has also worked as an education staff attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund.

Throughout his career, Judge Vera has been involved in several bar and judges associations.  Additionally, since 2010, he has served on the board of directors of the State Justice Institute, which distributes federal grants to state court systems.  He also served on the board of trustees of the California State Bar from 2013 to 2016 and on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission from 2016 to 2020.  Judge Vera received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with distinction, from Stanford University in 1991, and his Juris Doctor degree from UCLA School of Law in 1994.

Judge Vera fills the vacancy that arose when former District Judge Margaret M. Morrow assumed senior status in October 2015.  Including the appointment of Judge Vera, the Central District of California has 28 authorized Article III judgeships, two of which are currently unfilled.  The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.  It serves more than 19.2 million people, nearly half the population of the State of California.