On December 8, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California appointed Valerie E. Torres as a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge. Judge Torres is based in San Diego and 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 Torres 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. She also was vetted by a merit selection panel consisting of lawyers and non-lawyers from the San Diego community. Finally, Judge Torres was selected by a vote of the U.S. District Judges of the Southern District of California.
The San Diego FBA has a webinar scheduled on Monday, December 18, 2023 on How to Apply to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge, which includes more information about the position and the application process. The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing on our website soon, and a prior 2022 recording is available here.
Judge Torres received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. She litigated in private practice for 12 years at Latham & Watkins before joining the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of California in 2014. She most recently served as a Deputy Civil Division Chief in the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The San Diego FBA welcomes Judge Torres to the Southern District’s bench.