On August 15, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California appointed David D. Leshner as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge. Stationed in San Diego, Judge Leshner will serve for a renewable term of eight years.
The Judicial Conference of the United States determines the number and location of magistrate judges. By law, Judge Leshner had to meet certain criteria to become eligible for the position, including being a member in good standing of a state or territory’s highest court bar for at least five years. He also was vetted by a merit selection panel consisting of lawyers and non-lawyers from the San Diego community. Finally, Judge Leshner was selected by a vote of the U.S. District Judges of the Southern District of California. The San Diego FBA has a free presentation available on How to Apply to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge, which includes more information about the position and the application process.
Before his appointment, Judge Leshner served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, one of the busiest in the nation. His duties included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the office—one that includes approximately 140 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 145 staff members. Previously, Judge Leshner was Chief of the office's Criminal Division. All told, Judge Leshner spent fifteen years as a federal prosecutor.
Judge Leshner's accolades include the U.S. Department of Justice's John Marshall Award in the Trial of Litigation category. The John Marshall Awards are the DOJ's highest awards offered to attorneys and recognize them for their excellence in specialized areas of legal performance.
Judge Leshner is a graduate of Washington & Lee University School of Law and the University of Virginia. The San Diego FBA welcomes him to the Southern District's bench.