Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today praised the confirmation of Paul J. Watford to serve on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the busiest circuit in the nation. Watford fills the vacancy created by the death of Circuit Judge Pamela Ann Rymer.

“Paul Watford’s combination of experience as a federal prosecutor and as an appellate attorney in private practice makes him an excellent choice for the 9th Circuit,” said Senator Feinstein.  “He is extremely bright and highly respected for his intellect and judgment.  He has broad support across the political spectrum, and I am very pleased he was confirmed today to the 9th Circuit, which is the busiest circuit in the nation.”

Watford, an Orange County native, is currently a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles, where he specializes in appellate work.  Watford previously served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Earlier Watford served as a law clerk to 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who is now Chief Judge of the circuit.  The 9th Circuit has more than 1,400 appeals pending for each panel of the court, more than twice the average of the other circuits.  Watford also served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Watford holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.  He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was an editor of the UCLA Law Review.

Watford is one of two active African-American judges on the 9th Circuit.