Pedro V. Castillo Appointed as United States Magistrate Judge

Posted by on January 24, 2020 in Press & Internal News

We are excited to announce that former FPD-CDCA Deputy Federal Public Defender Pedro Castillo has been appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California. Below is the official District Court press release.

The United States District Court for the Central District of California announces the appointment of Pedro V. Castillo as a United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Castillo, who was sworn in on January 24, 2020, will sit in Los Angeles, the Court’s Western Division. Judge Castillo succeeds former Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal.

Before his appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Castillo served with distinction as a Deputy Federal Public Defender for over 27 years, trying over 45 cases to verdict. Judge Castillo participated in the Court’s Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) program, a partnership between the Court, U.S. Probation Office, Federal Public Defender, and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

STAR is a post‐conviction reentry program for high risk substance abuse offenders that provides integrated drug and alcohol treatment services with justice system case processing. Judge Castillo also served as a member of the District’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) team. CASA is a post‐guilty plea diversion program that offers a creative blend of treatment, sanction alternatives, and incentives to effectively address offender behavior, rehabilitation, and the safety of the community.

Judge Castillo’s volunteer activities include mentoring new attorneys, speaking at schools, and serving at the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles and the Ventura Mission in Oxnard. In 1988, he was a Council on Legal Educational Opportunity (CLEO) Fellow at the Summer Institute at the University of Utah College of Law in Salt Lake City, Utah. There he completed the program designed to help low income minority students enroll and succeed in law school. One year later he returned as a CLEO teaching assistant.

Judge Castillo was born in Mexico and raised in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.

Including the position now occupied by Judge Castillo, the Central District of California has 24 authorized full‐time Magistrate Judges and one part‐time position. The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. It serves approximately 19.6 million people – nearly half the population of the State of California.

Judge Castillo joins an impressive list of former FPD-CDCA alumni who have become judges, including:

Maria E. Stratton Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Dennis J. Landin Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Jesus G. Bernal United States District Judge
Paul L. Abrams United States District Judge
Stephen J. Hillman United States Magistrate Judge
K. Kiya Kato United States Magistrate Judge
Alicia Y. Blanco Los Angeles County Commissioner
Michael D. Abzug Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
James R. Dunn Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Michael Garcia Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Elizabeth Macias Orange County Superior Court Judge
Firdaus Dordi Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Ashfaq (Ron) Chowdhury Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Stephanie Thornton-Harris San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge
Christopher Dybwad Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Anne Hwang Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Pedro Castillo United States Magistrate Judge