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Northern District

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Federal district courts serve as the trial divisions of the federal court system. They preside over cases for federal crimes, interstate civil actions, questions regarding Constitutional law, and other matters allocated to them by jurisdictional rule (e.g., patents, copyrights, etc.).

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California is one of four federal district courts serving the state. The others are the Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts. It is also one of 94 district courts serving the United States.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

The four federal court districts in California are not strictly based on geographic sections of the state but rather are subdivided loosely according to even population distribution.

As a result, the Eastern District encompasses most of Northern and Central California's interior, for example, while the Southern District only serves the two southernmost counties of the state.

The court hears cases in Eureka, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose courtrooms. Its headquarters is in San Francisco. Cases from the Northern District of California are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of California is Stephanie Hinds, responsible for representing the U.S. in civil and criminal litigation.

About the Northern District of California

The Northern District Court is one of the two oldest federal court districts in California, having been established along with the Southern District Court in 1850, just days after California achieved statehood.

After numerous reorganizations as the state grew, today, the Northern District serves the following 15 counties along the northern California coast:

  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Del Norte
  • Humboldt
  • Lake County
  • Marin
  • Mendocino
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • San Benito
  • San Francisco
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Sonoma

Since the court covers San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the Northern District of California is known for dealing with major federal lawsuits, such as significant class actions, that involve defendants based in Asia and high-tech.

These cases frequently involve intellectual property law, copyrights, and trade secret law, especially issues dealing with the software industry, high technology, securities law, and antitrust law.

Federal District Court Locations 

The Northern District Federal Court is headquartered in San Francisco, with three additional locations located throughout the district.

San Francisco

Phillip Burton Federal Building & United States Courthouse

450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Front Desk Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Hours of Access: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (415) 522-2000

Oakland

Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building & United States Courthouse

1301 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Front Desk Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Hours of Access: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (510) 637-3530

San Jose

Robert F. Peckham Federal Building & United States Courthouse

280 South 1st Street, Room 2112
San Jose, CA 95113
Front Desk Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Hours of Access: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (408) 535-5363

Eureka-McKinleyville

United States Courthouse

3140 Boeing Avenue
McKinleyville, CA 95519
Business Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Phone: (707) 445-3612

Federal Judges for the Northern District 

Fourteen district court judge seats serve the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The current President nominates judges to fill vacancies, and after confirmation by the Senate, they serve for lifetime terms.

The current active judges in the Northern District are:

  • Richard Seeborg (Chief Judge)
  • Vince Girdhari Chhabria
  • Edward J. Davila
  • James Donato
  • Beth Labson Freeman
  • Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.
  • Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers
  • William Orrick III
  • Jacqueline Scott Corley
  • Jon S. Tigar
  • William Alsup
  • Charles R. Breyer
  • Edward M. Chen
  • Maxine M. Chesney
  • Susan Illston
  • Trina L. Thompson
  • Laurel Beeler
  • Lisa J. Cisneros
  • Thomas S. Hixon
  • Sallie Kim
  • Joseph C. Spero
  • Alex G.Tse
  • Saundra Brown Armstrong
  • Nathenial Cousins
  • Phyllis J. Hamilton
  • Jeffrey S. White
  • Claudia Wilken
  • Virginia K. DeMarchi
  • Susan van Keulen

In addition to these posts, the Northern District of California is also served by ten senior judges and 11 magistrate judges to help handle some of the caseloads.

Senior judges are previously active federal judges who have retired after reaching a certain age and serving for at least 15 years. Senior judges help with the caseload on a volunteer basis.

Magistrate judges are lower-level judges elected to serve renewable eight-year terms by their constituents rather than appointed by the President. They perform various duties as assigned by the active federal judges.

How the Federal District Courts Work

The U.S. District Court serves as a trial court, the court of first instance for criminal and civil matters at the federal level.

Civil cases at these courts involve disputes between parties involving a federal question or diversity jurisdiction.

Federal Criminal Defense Attorney for the Northern District of California

This means that the case must involve the U.S. government, two citizens from different states, foreign countries, and their citizens, or it must arise under federal law, such as bankruptcy cases, patent infringement, etc.

Criminal matters refer to violations of federal laws for which the government seeks to prosecute an individual. The District Court handles all cases of this type, including felonies and misdemeanors.

Appeals are heard by the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth District (San Francisco location).

The attorneys of Eisner Gorin represent defendants accused of federal crimes, both misdemeanors, and felonies.

We have years of experience appearing before federal judges at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Contact Us Today

Eisner Gorin LLP is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Los Angeles, California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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