Manuel Real

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Manuel Lawrence Real
Manuel Lawrence Real.jpg
Judge Real at 50 years of service
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Assumed office
November 3, 1966
Nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by New seat created by 80 Stat. 75
Personal details
Pronunciation reál
Born Manuel Lawrence Real
(1924-01-27) January 27, 1924 (age 93)
San Pedro, California
Alma mater University of Southern California B.S.
Loyola Law School LL.B.
Occupation Judge
Profession Attorney

Manuel Lawrence Real (pronounced "reál"; born January 27, 1924) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He was appointed in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Born in San Pedro, California to Spanish immigrant parents,[1] Real received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California in 1944 and a Bachelor of Laws from Loyola Law School in 1951. He was in the United States Navy Reserve during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. He was an assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1952 to 1955. He was in private practice in San Pedro from 1955 to 1964. He was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1964 to 1966.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On September 26, 1966, Real was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Central District of California created by 80 Stat. 75. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 20, 1966, and received his commission on November 3, 1966. He served as chief judge of the district from 1982 to 1993.[2] In 2006, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced a resolution permitting the Judiciary Committee to investigate Real to see whether impeachment hearings were warranted.[3] The impeachment effort was later dropped.[4] In 2008, Real received a public reprimand for his handling of a bankruptcy matter.[4]


Pasadena Unified School District[edit]

He is known for his January 22, 1970 decision ordering Pasadena Unified School District to adopt a plan to correct racial imbalance at all levels. "It is ordered, adjudged and decreed that the defendants, Pasadena City Board of Education, Mrs. LuVerne LaMotte, Albert C. Lowe, Bradford C. Houser, John T. Welsh, and Joseph J. Engholm, as members of the Pasadena City Board of Education, and Ralph W. Hornbeck, as Superintendent of Schools ... are enjoined from discriminating of the basis of race ... in the operation of the district." His decision: "Commencing in September of 1970, there shall be no school in the District elementary or junior high or senior high school, with a majority of any minority students."[5] The board of education and the superintendent adopted a forced busing plan to meet the new legal mandate. Real did not order forced busing; that was creation of the Pasadena Unified School District.[citation needed]

Other cases[edit]

Real was noted for his judicial behavior in the 2000s. From 2001 to 2009, he had custody of disputed Filipino assets, for which he had to account in 2009. A federal appeals court panel ruled that his accounting "plainly fails to account for all transactions involving the assets during the eight years they were held in the clerk of court's custody. It doesn't give the reader even a basic understanding of the path by which $33.8 million worth of assets deposited in September 2000 came to be worth $34.7 million today".[6]

On January 11, 2012, the Ninth Circuit removed Real from the controversial case of Alexander Sanchez, a former M13 gang leader turned gang interventionist.[7][8]

In November 2012 it was reported that Real had shown a pattern of making rulings in favor of companies in which he owned stock.[9]


  1. ^ O'Donnell, Santiago (May 6, 1991). "Tough Judge to Hear Suit Over Latino Voting Rights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Real, Manuel Lawrence". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Judge denies wrongdoing as panel ponders impeachment". Lodi News-Sentinel. September 21, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Carter, Terry (Sep 1, 2008). "Real Trouble". American Bar Association. Retrieved Sep 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ 311 Federal Supplement 501, SPANGLER v. PASADENA CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION. West Publishing; accessed September 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2009, article entitled "Appeals court criticizes Judge Real over accounting of $33.8-million trust."
  7. ^ Witness LA Reports on Removal of Judge Real from Sanchez case by Ninth Circuit,; accessed September 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Removal of Judge Real from Alexander Sanchez case,; ; accessed September 8, 2014.
  9. ^ Federal Judge's rulings favored companies in which he owned stock,; accessed September 8, 2014.
Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California