Updated: Oct 7, 2022
On September 28, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California appointed Lupe Rodriguez Jr. as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge. Stationed in El Centro, Judge Rodriguez will serve for a renewable term of eight years. Judge Rodriguez fills the position vacated by Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro, who was confirmed as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California on March 22, 2022.
The Judicial Conference of the United States determines the number and location of magistrate judges. By law, Judge Rodriguez 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 Rodriguez 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.
Judge Rodriguez graduated from California Western School of law in 1994. Following his graduation, Judge Rodriguez practiced both civil litigation and criminal defense. As a civil litigator, he handled employment issues, business disputes, and insurance and general liability matters. Judge Rodriguez’s criminal defense work included representing clients charged with a wide variety of crimes. In all, Judge Rodriguez worked as a civil litigator and defense attorney for over 27 years.
The San Diego FBA welcomes Judge Rodriguez to the Southern District’s bench.