Freeman, Donato Confirmed to Federal Bench

donatoNorthern California’s federal court just got two new judges.  The U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman and San Francisco attorney James Donato to the federal bench.

Freeman received a 91-7 vote and Donato, 53, a 90-5 vote Tuesday.

Freeman, 60, was first appointed to the state court bench in 2000 by Gov. Gray Davis.  She has been presiding judge of the court since 2011.  She worked as deputy county counsel for San Mateo between 1983 and 2000.  Prior to that she worked in private practice at Lasky, Haas, Cohler and Munter in San Francisco.

She studied economics at UC Berkeley and received her law degree from HarvardLawSchool in 1979.

Donato, 53, has been a trial lawyer at San Francisco’s Shearman & Sterling since 2009.  Prior to that he worked at Cooley and Morrison & Foerster.  He also served as a deputy city attorney for the San Francisco office of the city attorney from 1993 to 1996.

He received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1988 and was editor of the Stanford Law Review.  His undergraduate degree in history comes from UC Berkeley, with a master’s degree from Harvard University.

Freeman will take the seat of Judge Jeremy Fogel, who is serving as the head of the FederalJudicialCenter in Washington, D.C. and Donato fills the seat of Judge James Ware, who retired last year.

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