John B. Owens

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John Owens
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
April 2, 2014
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Trott
Personal details
Born 1971 (age 46–47)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Residence San Diego, California, U.S.
Alma mater UC Berkeley
Stanford Law School

John Byron Owens (born 1971) is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Early life and education

Owens was born in 1971 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern California.[1][2] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in 1993 and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School in 1996, where he graduated first in his class.[1] From 1996 until 1997, Owens served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace on the Ninth Circuit. From 1997 until 1998, he was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.[3] He is the grandson of Harold Agnew.[4]

Professional career

From 1991 until 1993, Owens worked as a marketing assistant for the Golden State Warriors basketball team. He then served as a summer associate in the summer of 1995 with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen.

From 1998 until 1999, Owens was a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation.[3] From 2000 until 2001, he served as a litigation associate at the law firm O'Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C.[3] From 2001 until 2004, he served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 2004, he transferred to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of California, where he served until 2012, serving first as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2004 until 2008, then as the deputy chief of the major frauds section from 2008 until 2010 and finally as the chief of the criminal division from 2010 until 2011.[3] He has appeared on the television show American Greed.[5]

From January 2012 until April 2014, Owens was a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.[1]

Federal judicial service

John B. Owens taking oath of office; Being sworn in as Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit (April 25, 2014)

On August 1, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Owens to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[1] He fills the seat that was vacated by Judge Stephen Trott in 2004.[6] On January 16, 2014 his nomination was reported out of committee to the full U.S. Senate.[7] On March 26, 2014, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on the nomination. On March 27, 2014, the Senate voted 54-44 for cloture on Owens' nomination.[8] On March 31, 2014, the United States Senate confirmed Owens' nomination 56-43.[9] He received his judicial commission on April 2, 2014.[10] Owens was officially seated and sworn in on April 25, 2014.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dolan, Maura (August 1, 2013). "Two lawyers from same California firm nominated for 9th Circuit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 2, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "New 9th Circuit judge's local roots". San Jose Mercury News. July 17, 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
  4. Mulkin, Barb (March 1979). The Atom (PDF). 15 (2): 9 Retrieved 22 August 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Mintz, Howard (August 1, 2013). "White House names S.F., L.A. lawyers to powerful federal appeals court". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 2, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Executive Business Meeting". United States Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 2nd Session". Vote Summary: Vote Number 89. United States Senate. Retrieved 27 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Senate Vote Could End Feud Over Ninth Circuit Seat". Legal Times. Retrieved 31 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Owens, John Byron". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 3 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Stephen Trott
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit