R. Gary Klausner

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R. Gary Klausner
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Assumed office
November 15, 2002
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by William Duffy Keller
Personal details
Born Robert Gary Klausner
1941 (age 75–76)
Los Angeles, California
Education University of Notre Dame (B.A., B.S.)
Loyola Law School (J.D.)

Robert Gary Klausner (born 1941; commonly referred to as R. Gary Klausner) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Early life and education[edit]

Klausner was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1941.[1] He graduated from Loyola High School.[2] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree (1963) and Bachelor of Science degree (1964) from the University of Notre Dame.[1] He received his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 1967.[2]


He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969,[1] serving during the Vietnam War as a captain.[2] He then was a deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 1969 to 1974.[2][1]

He served as a court commissioner of the Pasadena Municipal Court from 1974 to 1980. Governor Jerry Brown appointed him as a judge on the Pasadena Municipal Court in 1980. In 1985, Governor George Deukmejian elevated Klausner to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench, where he served until 2002.[2] Klausner became supervising judge of the Criminal Departments in 1991 and assistant presiding judge in 1993; he was presiding judge from 1995 to 1996.[2] In this role, Klausner opposed a merger of the municipal and superior courts.[3]

Federal district court service[edit]

Klausner is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Klausner was nominated by President George W. Bush on July 18, 2002, to a seat vacated by William Duffy Keller.[2] Klausner, a Republican, was recommended for the post by a unanimous vote of a local bipartisan committee that screens potential judicial nominees, and his nomination was uncontroversial.[3] Klausner was rated "well qualified" by a substantial majority of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.[4] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14, 2002, by voice vote,[5] and received his commission the following day.[2]

In 2006, Klausner presided over United States v. Ancheta, the federal prosecution of Jeanson James Ancheta of Downey, California, the first botnet-related prosecution in U.S history. Following Ancheta's guilty plea, Klausner sentenced Ancheta to 57 months in prison for various botnet-related crimes.[6] In 2016, Klausner presided over a copyright case filed by the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe against Led Zeppelin founders Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. The estate of Wolfe alleged that Wolfe was entitled to a writing credit for the song "Stairway to Heaven"; Klausner ruled in April 2016 that a jury could find "substantial similarity" between the elements of the two songs.[7] In another copyright case arising from the Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar, Klausner rejected various motions by both parties in January 2017, setting the stage for a civil trial on the matter to go forward.[8][9] The parties settled the suit.[10] In August 2017, Klausner dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by boxing fans who contended that the 2015 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match was deceptively marketed because Pacquiao failed to disclose a shoulder injury that affected his performance. Klausner ruled that fans of sporting events have no right to have the event meet their expectations for excitement.[11] In October 2017, Klausner ruled in favor of the plaintiff Coachella Music Festival in a lawsuit against the fledgling "Filmchella" film festival, finding that the names were likely to cause consumer confusion.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Biography from the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Kenneth Ofgang, Senate Confirms R. Gary Klausner as Judge of U.S. District Court, Metropolitan News-Enterprise (November 18, 2002).
  3. ^ a b David Rosenweig, 2 L.A. Superior Court Judges Picked for U.S. Court, Los Angeles Times (July 23, 2002).
  4. ^ Ratings of Article III Judicial Nominees, 107th Congress(2001-2002), American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.
  5. ^ PN1982 — Robert G. Klausner — The Judiciary, 107th Congress (2001-2002), Congress.gov.
  6. ^ "21-year-old hacker sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison". Orange County Register. May 9, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Stairway to Heaven in copyright trial". BBC News. April 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (January 5, 2017). "Axanar isn't fair use, judge finds, setting stage for Star Trek copyright trial". Ars Technica. 
  9. ^ Gardner, Eriq (January 4, 2017). "'Star Trek' Fan Film Dispute Goes to Jury Trial in Big Ruling". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "Paramount, CBS Settle 'Star Trek' Fan Film Lawsuit". 20 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Ritter, Ken (August 25, 2017). "Judge KO's class-action case from Mayweather-Pacquiao fight". Associated Press. 
  12. ^ Chapple, Jon (October 12, 2017). "Court sides with Coachella in Filmchella dispute". IQ Magazine. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Duffy Keller
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California