Edward M. Chen

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Edward M. Chen
Edward Milton Chen.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office
May 17, 2022
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
May 12, 2011 – May 17, 2022
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byMartin Jenkins
Succeeded byvacant
Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
2001 – May 12, 2011
Personal details
Edward Milton Chen

(1953-01-20) January 20, 1953 (age 69)
Oakland, California, U.S.
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA, JD)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鄭一芳
Simplified Chinese郑一芳

Edward Milton Chen (born January 20, 1953) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and former United States magistrate judge of the same court.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Oakland, California,[1] Chen earned an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1979.[2]

Legal career[edit]

After graduating law school, Chen served judicial clerkships for United States District Judge Charles Byron Renfrew from June 1979 until April 1980 and United States Circuit Judge James R. Browning from June 1981 until June 1982.[2][3]

From 1982 until 1985, Chen served as an associate at the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer.[2] In September 1985, Chen became a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, specializing in language discrimination cases.[4] He held that post until April 2001, when the judges on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California named Chen to an eight-year term as a United States Magistrate Judge.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

United States magistrate judge service[edit]

Chen served as a United States Magistrate Judge from 2001 until 2011.[3]

United States district judge service[edit]

On August 7, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Chen to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by the resignation of Martin Jenkins.[2] On October 15, 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12–7 in a party-line vote to send Chen's nomination to the full Senate.[5][6] On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Senate returned Chen's nomination to the president. Senator Feinstein in an interview published in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 29, 2009 reiterated her support for Judge Chen and her hope that the President would renominate Judge Chen for the U.S. District Court.[7] President Obama renominated Chen in January 2010, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination on February 4, 2010.[5] On August 5, 2010, the U.S. Senate again returned Chen's nomination for failure to confirm.[8] President Obama renominated Chen to the seat on September 13, 2010 and again on January 5, 2011.[9] On May 10, 2011, the United States Senate confirmed Chen in a 56–42 vote.[10] He received his judicial commission on May 12, 2011.[3] Since being confirmed as a District Judge, Chen has been a prolific writer, authoring a number of major opinions. According to one legal news source, Judge Chen is the 4th most-influential district judge appointed since 2010.[11] The same source later named Judge Chen one of the "7 Rising Star Judges You Want to Clerk For."[12] Chen assumed senior status on May 17, 2022.[13]

Notable cases[edit]

Chen's notable cases have included the civil trial regarding the shooting of Oscar Grant by a Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department officer,[14] the criminal prosecution of former Korn Ferry executive David Nosal for hacking,[15] and a number of cases being brought against Uber regarding the classification of its drivers as independent contractors.[16][17] On June 21, 2012, the case of Carreon v. Inman et al, which has achieved some prominence on the Internet, was assigned to Chen.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hearing on the nomination of Edward M Chen" (PDF). nabapa.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e President Obama Nominates Edward Milton Chen, Dolly Gee and Richard Seeborg to Serve on the District Court Bench, whitehouse.gov (August 7, 2009).
  3. ^ a b c "Chen, Edward Milton – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  4. ^ Kim, Ryan (April 27, 2001). "Asian magistrate is a first in S.F. / Chen was discrimination specialist at ACLU". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A25. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b Bob Egelko (February 5, 2010). "Senate panel backs Obama's judge nominee". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  6. ^ Bob Egelko (2009-12-25). "Senate OKs magistrate as federal judge in S.F." San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-12-25.
  7. ^ Bob Egelko (December 29, 2009). "Senate GOP opposes S.F. judicial nominee". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  8. ^ U.S. Senate (2010-08-05). "NOMINATIONS RETURNED TO THE PRESIDENT".[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Bob Egelko (2010-08-07). "Republicans block Bay Area judicial nominees". San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  11. ^ Kassam, Kerry. "Judging The Judges: Who Are the Most-Cited New Jurists On The Federal Bench?".
  12. ^ Larsen, Megan. "7 Rising Star Judges You Want To Clerk For".
  13. ^ Edward M. Chen at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  14. ^ "Oscar Grant case: Civil jury rules in favor of Johannes Mehserle, denies award to slain man's father – The Mercury News".
  15. ^ "Executive's conviction upheld in trade-secrets theft".
  16. ^ Griswold, Alison (1 September 2015). "A Federal Judge Just Shredded Uber's Arguments Against a Major Class-Action Lawsuit" – via Slate.
  17. ^ "Uber Case Drives SF Judge Into Spotlight".
  18. ^ "Carreon v. Inman et al". Justia. Retrieved 2012-07-01.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California