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Senior Status Invoked by 9th Circuit Judge Fisher

(CN) - Judge Raymond Fisher of the 9th Circuit announced plans to take senior status effective April 1, 2013.

Fisher, 73, has almost 14 years of active court service.

President Bill Clinton nominated Fisher to the federal appeals court on Oct. 12, 1999. Fisher currently ranks 10th in seniority among the court's 28 active judges.

"I plan to continue to render substantial judicial service, although enjoying a bit more time to spend with my family," he said in a letter Friday to President Barack Obama.

The Oakland native received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1961 and later graduated from Stanford Law School, where he served as the president of the Stanford Law Review and awarded the Order of the Coif.

Fisher clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge J. Smelly Wright after law school, from 1966 to 1967. He next clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. until 1968.

After a brief stint with Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles, Fisher became a founding partner of the Los Angeles office of Heller Herman White & McAuliffe.

He specialized there in complex business and constitutional litigation, and alternative dispute resolution.

In 1997, Clinton appointed Fisher to serve as the associate attorney general of the United States, the third ranking office in the Department of Justice, where he oversaw the civil, civil rights, antitrust, tax, and environmental and natural resources divisions.

Fisher was very active in civic affairs while still practicing law in Los Angeles.

Mayor Richard Riordan appointed him to the Los Angeles Police Commission, and Fisher served as that body's president in 1996.

Fisher also served as the deputy general counsel for the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, known as the Christopher Commission, where he helped investigate police practices in the wake of the infamous Rodney King beating.

In addition, he served on the Los Angeles City Civil Service Commission from 1984 to 1989, acting as president for one year.

Fisher currently serves on the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit and has been a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference's Committee on the Judicial Branch since 2005.

He is involved in two nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations focusing on teaching youth about civics and law. Fisher serves as chair of the Western Justice Center, and he is a board member and former president of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. He also serves on the Election Law Advisory Committee for the American Law Institute, and he is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Fisher will continue to maintain chambers in the Richard H. Chambers U.S. Courthouse in Pasadena.

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