Steven G. Kalar has been named the new Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California, the 9th Circuit announced. Kalar, a long-time public defender, succeeds Barry Portman, who retired on New Year’s. Portman served with the public defender’s office 37 years, and as head of the office since 1988.
Kalar, 46, began in 1998 and was promoted to senior litigator in 2003.
He also serves as a training attorney to new assistants in the office.
Kalar is a native of Santa Rosa. He received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University.
He clerked by Judge Harry Pregerson of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after law school and has been a guest lecturer at Hastings and Stanford Law Schools.
He also worked briefly as an associate in the law offices of Morrison & Foerster.
The federal defender’s office in the Northern District has more than 60 employees and handed nearly 1,200 new cases in fiscal year 2011, according to the 9th Circuit.
The public defender serves a four-year term and may be reappointed by the court.