Curiel Confirmed to Calif. District Court

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego Superior Court has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal judge in the Southern District of California.
     President Barack Obama nominated Curiel for the position in November 2011 after it was vacated by U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan, who took senior status in August of 2010. Curiel’s nomination hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee took place April 26, 2012, followed with a Senate voice vote confirmation Sept. 22.
     Saturday’s confirmation rounds out the court’s authorized total of 13 judgeships.
     Curiel received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1976 and his law degree from Indiana University in 1979. He engaged in private practice at James, James & Manning from 1979 to 1986, before going to work for Barbosa & Vera from 1986 to 1989.
     He spent the following three years working as deputy chief and chief of the Narcotics Enforcement Section for the Southern District. In 2002 he became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District and was appointed as a California Superior judge in San Diego by Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger in 2006. Curiel’s annual salary is $174,000.
     According to a 9th Circuit press release, the Southern District reported 9,254 total case filings and had the fourth highest criminal caseload in the nation with 5,973 cases in 2011.

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