Federico A. Moreno

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Federico A. Moreno
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Assumed office
July 17, 1990
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Alcee Hastings
Personal details
Born (1952-04-10) April 10, 1952 (age 70)
Caracas, Venezuela
Nationality United States
Spouse(s) Maria Cristina Moreno Morales
Children Cristina Moreno
Rick Moreno
Vicky-Lou Moreno
Residence Miami, Florida
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
University of Miami

Federico A. Moreno (born 1952) is an American lawyer and judge. He is a district judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Early life and education

Moreno was born in Caracas, Venezuela to Francisco and Réjane Moreno. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with an Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 and from the University of Miami School of Law with a J.D. in 1978. At the University of Miami Law School he met his wife of thirty-seven years, Maria Cristina Morales. On March 11, 2014, Moreno observed in remarks delivered to the Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court (a private lawyers association) that Morales graduated first in their class at the University of Miami Law School. Morales is a prominent transactional attorney in Miami. They have three children: Cristina (32), an assistant United State Attorney in Miami; Rick (30), a private investment professional in Miami; and Vicky-Lou (24), a television news producer who is affectionately know by her friends and family as "baguette."

Professional career

Moreno was in private practice in Miami from 1978 to 1979. He served as assistant federal public defender in the Office of the U.S. Public Defender from 1979 to 1981 before returning to private practice in Miami from 1982 to 1986. Moreno served as a judge on the Dade County Court from 1986 to 1987. He served as a judge on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court from 1987 to 1990. In addition to his current post as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, Judge Moreno serves on the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Federal judicial service

Moreno was nominated by George H.W. Bush on June 5, 1990 to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to the seat vacated by Alcee Hastings, who was impeached. Confirmed by the Senate on July 13, 1990, he received commission on July 16, 1990.

On the court Moreno has presided over several notable cases:

  • In early 2010, Moreno ruled that Danish citizen Camilla Broe should be released after determining that her case has expired. Broe is the first Danish citizen to be extradited to the United States. Moreno was very critical of the prosecution and of the Danish Government's handling of the case.
  • In 2006, Moreno ruled that the government should not have returned 15 Cuban immigrants that were found "standing on the pilings of an abandoned bridge in the Florida Keys." The federal government argued that the bridge "was rooted under water and was not United States territory" and thus the Wet Foot-Dry Foot Policy did not apply. Moreno ordered the government to make "best efforts to help the immigrants return to the United States."[1]
  • In 2001, Moreno presided over the criminal trial of former Miami city manager Donald Warshaw. Moreno sentenced Warshaw to a year in prison, fined him $30,000, and ordered him to pay $51,000 in restitution after he was convicted of stealing $69,788 from a children's charity.[2]
  • In 2000 the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation sent Moreno more than 50 lawsuits against various HMOs.[3][4] In 2002, Moreno "dismissed several charges against the nation's largest health insurance companies, but he said plaintiffs could proceed with accusations that the insurers had violated federal fraud and pension laws." Moreno ruled that plaintiffs who were health plan subscribers could proceed with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act fraud claims against Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare and Humana.[5] In 2003, Moreno ruled in favor of 700,000 doctors and against HMOs in a related case.[6]

Moreno served as Chief Judge on the court from 2007 to 2014.

Failed nomination to the Eleventh Circuit

On March 9, 1992, President George H.W. Bush nominated Moreno to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, to replace Paul Roney, who had taken senior status.[7] Bush's previous nominee for the seat, Kenneth Ryskamp, had been defeated by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. However, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee did not take up Moreno's nomination before Bush's presidency ended, and President Bill Clinton chose not to renominate Moreno to the seat after he took office. Ultimately, Clinton ended up appointing Rosemary Barkett to the seat to which Moreno had been nominated.

See also


  1. Aguayo, Terry. "National Briefing | South: Florida: Judge Orders Help For Cubans." New York Times 1 March 2006.
  2. "National Briefing | South: Florida: Miami's Ex-City Manager Sentenced." New York Times 7 July 2001.
  3. "Panel Sends 50 H.M.O. Suits to One Judge." New York Times 25 October 2000.
  4. Freudenheim, Milt. "Judge Issues Mixed Rulings In Suits Against H.M.O.'s." New York Times 13 June 2001.
  5. Freudenheim, Milt. "U.S. Judge Dismisses Several Accusations Against Health Insurers." New York Times 21 February 2002.
  6. Freudenheim, Milt. "Judge Sides With Doctors Over Insurers." New York Times 10 December 2003.
  7. http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/public_papers.php?id=5148&year=1992&month=all

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Alcee Hastings
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida