Judge Stephen G. Larson (Former)
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Arbitrator & Mediator
Judge Stephen Larson brings more than 21 years of litigation experience, including serving as Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division in Los Angeles where he led 24 criminal trials and received the US Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
A respected and accomplished jurist, he served as a US Magistrate Judge and then, upon elevation, as a US District Judge in the Central District, where he presided over a number of high-profile cases, including United States v. Nazario, a landmark Military Extraterritoriality Jurisdiction Act case involving US Marines accused of manslaughter during the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq; and United States v. Duros, in which he blocked the US Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decade long effort to close down and expel a major migrant worker camp on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation in the Coachella Valley, home to thousands of migrant farm workers, and turned the operation of the settlement over to a court-appointed receiver.
Judge Stephen Larson also negotiated, approved, and supervised the consent decree entered into by the County of San Bernardino in John Doe v. County of San Bernardino, which resulted in systematic reform of educational and therapeutic services for disabled youths within the county juvenile hall system, as well as determined the ownership of the copyrights to the iconic comic strip Superman in Siegel v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. While serving on the federal bench, Judge Larson also sat by designation on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, participating in approximately 40 decisions.
Judge Stephen Larson shares an active involvement in international investigations and establishment of the rule of law in developing countries. Along with Mr. O’Brien, he was a founding member of the executive board of the US Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, traveling to that war-torn nation to meet judges, prosecutors, and other government officials. While serving as chief of the organized crime section of the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Judge Larson worked with foreign law enforcement agencies conducting joint investigations that took him to Russia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, the Ukraine, and South Korea. As a federal judge he was actively involved in promoting the rule of law and combating corruption in developing countries, including Uzbekistan, Croatia and Rwanda.
Judge Stephen Larson Professional Activities:
He is the Distinguished Jurist in Residence and a member of the Board of Visitors at the University of La Verne College of Law, where he has taught classes on federal courts, conflicts of law, civil rights, international law, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility since 2002. Judge Larson was appointed by founding Dean Erwin Chemerinsky to serve on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the newly chartered law school at the University of California at Irvine.
Judge Stephen Larson professional affiliations include:
- American Bar Association
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- Disability Rights Legal Center, Board of Directors
- Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles, Board of Directors
- Judge Paul R. Michel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, Advisory Board
- Leo A. Deegan American Inn of Court, Judicial Master (2005-2009)
- Pacific Council on International Policy
- Volunteer Center of Riverside County, Advisory Board
- “Labor Law,” The Guide to Acquisition and Management of a U.S. Business, Eurostudy Publishing Co. Ltd.; 1991, co-author
- “Lawyers of Earlier Times Teach Lessons that Endure,” Student Lawyer, American Bar Association; May 2003
- “The Road to Tashkent,” Riverside County Lawyer, Riverside Co. Bar Association; January 2004
- “On Being an American,” Riverside County Lawyer, Riverside Co. Bar Association; June 2007
- Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice (1996)
- Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Top 20 Lawyers Under 40” (2004)
- Erwin Chemerinsky Defender of the Constitution Award, Federal Bar Association (2009)
- Irish America Magazine, “Legal 100” (2009 and 2010)
- Lawdragon 500 (2010 and 2011)
- Amar Es Entregarse Award, Diocese of San Bernardino (2011)
Bar and Court Admissions:
- California Bar
- US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- US District Court, Central District of California
- US District Court, Northern District of California
- US District Court, Southern District of California
- US District Court, Eastern District of California
- University of Southern California Gould School of Law, JD; 1989
- Georgetown University, BSFS (School of Foreign Service); 1986