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Senate Confirms Century City Lawyer as U.S. District Judge

TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Century City lawyer A. Howard Matz to a federal district judgeship in Los Angeles.

“I’m very honored, and I’m truly looking forward to serving,” said Matz, 54, a partner at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to participate in the process of pursuing justice.”

Matz was nominated for the position by President Clinton last October on the recommendation of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is not related to Matz’s partner, Joel Boxer.

Unlike many other Clinton nominees, Matz’s confirmation process was relatively swift. He faced no opposition at the Senate Judiciary Committee and no votes were cast against him Friday.

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Matz’s candidacy was endorsed by numerous influential lawyers, as well as by Lourdes G. Baird, a U.S. district judge here, Robert C. Bonner Jr., the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti and Sheriff Sherman Block.

A native of New York, Matz attended Columbia University and after graduating from Harvard Law School served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Morris E. Lasker in New York. He moved to Los Angeles and spent four years in the U.S. attorney’s office, including a stint as chief of the office’s special prosecutions unit.

He entered private practice in 1978 and specialized in complex business litigation and white-collar criminal cases. He has represented IBM, Walt Disney Co., the cities of Anaheim and Riverside, Yale University and numerous individuals in civil cases.

Matz has also been involved in numerous civic activities, including serving on the boards of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Bet Tzedek Legal Services, which provides legal assistance to low-income individuals. Matz also is a member of the Board of Overseers for the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion.

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Both Boxer and Matz’s longtime partner Terry Bird predicted that he would make an outstanding judge.

“Howard Matz’s deep commitment to justice and his distinguished professional career and community service will make him an outstanding addition to the federal bench,” Boxer said.

Bird, who met Matz when they served together as federal prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office, said his partner is “extremely bright, practical and devoted to the law. He’ll be absolutely fair.”


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