Nora Margaret Manella

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Nora Margaret Manella (born 1951) is an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal.

Manella's father, Arthur Manella, was a tax lawyer and a founding partner of Irell & Manella.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Nora Manella received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1972 and a J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School in 1975. She was a law clerk, Hon. John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit from 1975 to 1976. She was legal counsel to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee from 1976 to 1978. She was in private practice in California from 1978 to 1982. She was an assistant U.S. Attorney of the Central District of California from 1982 to 1990. She was a judge on the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1990 to 1992, and on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1992 to 1994. She was a Justice Pro Tem, California Court of Appeal in 1992. She was the United States Attorney for the Central District of California from 1994 to 1998.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Manella first expressed an interest in serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1995, when she wrote a June 7, 1995 letter to senior presidential advisor George Stephanopoulos expressing her interest in such a seat.[1]

Manella never was nominated to the Ninth Circuit. Instead, on March 31, 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated Manella to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California that had been vacated by Mariana R. Pfaelzer. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 21, 1998, and received her judicial commission on October 22, 1998. Manella served in that capacity until May 21, 2006, when she resigned to join the California Court of Appeal, where she has since served in the 2nd District.


  1. ^ Ruger, Todd (March 28, 2014). "Clinton-Era Letter Gives Peek into Judicial Nominations Process". Legal Times. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Mariana Pfaelzer
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Succeeded by
Jacqueline Nguyen