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Two UCLA School of Law Alumni Appointed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals


June 18, 2012 – Two UCLA School of Law alumni, Jacqueline H. Nguyen ’91 and Paul J. Watford ’94, recently were appointed to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the nation's largest federal appeals court.

Judge Nguyen was confirmed by the Senate on May 7, 2012. President Obama's third appointee to the Ninth Circuit, she becomes the first Vietnamese American and first Asian-Pacific woman to serve on a federal appeals court. She has served as a United States District Judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles since 2009. Previously, she was a Judge of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles from 2002. She joined the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California in 1995, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division and as Deputy Chief of the General Crimes section. She began her career at Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP.

Judge Watford was confirmed by the Senate on May 21, 2012. He will become the second African American on the circuit court. He is an appellate litigation partner at the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles, California, where he has worked since 2001. He became a partner in 2003, and his practice has focused on appellate litigation in state and federal courts on a wide range of legal issues. Before that, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California and prosecuted a wide range of federal criminal cases, including complex white-collar criminal cases as a member of the Major Frauds Section.

UCLA School of Law will have a total of six of its graduates serving as judges on the Ninth Circuit, the largest number from any institution. Our latest appointees will join the school’s incumbent members: Chief Judge Alex Kozinski ’75, Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta ’88, Judge Dorothy W. Nelson ’53 and Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw ’79.