The United States Senate confirmed Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell (JD '90) to the U.S. District Court on April 15 in a unanimous 92-0 vote. She will step down from her current role as a judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court as of April 19.
The Pepperdine School of Law alumna has been appointed to serve the Central District of California, which according to the United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit, "is among the nation's busiest federal trial courts with 17,086 new case filings in fiscal year 2012.
"The entire Pepperdine Law family is proud that President Obama and the Senate have selected an outstanding Pepperdine Law alumnus to serve on the United States District Court," said Dean Deanell Reece Tacha. "Judge O'Connell has served the state of California with distinction and will bring the highest standards of intellectual ability, public service, and integrity to the federal bench. As the first Pepperdine alumnus appointed to an Article III court, Judge O'Connell's appointment is an important new milestone in the history of this law school. She joins a long line of Pepperdine lawyers who are modeling leadership throughout the legal profession."
Judge O'Connell's nomination to the U.S. District Court stemmed from a recommendation made by California Senator Barbara Boxer. In response to Judge O'Connell's nomination Boxer said, "She brings with her decades of experience as a Superior Court judge, a federal prosecutor, and an attorney in private practice – all of which will make her a tremendous asset to the court."
Judge O'Connell's legal career, which began in civil litigation in 1990, has been made up of one success story after another. She was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger in 2005. Prior to that, Judge O'Connell served as anassistant supervising judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court's North Valley District, and sat by designation on the California Court of Appeals for the Second District, Division 8. Judge O'Connell held the role of assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1995 to 2005 following a five-year stint as an associate with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster.
Despite her demanding schedule, Judge O'Connell has remained an active member of the Pepperdine School of Law community, participating in moot court competitions and serving as an adjunct professor as well as a mentor to students.