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Hon. Joseph C. Spero

Hon. Joseph C. Spero

United States District Court, Northern District of California
Chief Magistrate Judge
San Francisco, CA, USA


Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero has presided as trial judge in criminal and civil cases in a variety of subject areas, including patent, employment, civil rights, commercial contract, trademark, and federal misdemeanor cases. He has also served as a settlement judge in over 1500 cases.

Judge Spero serves on the Court's Executive Committee, as Chair of the Court's Reentry Committee and of the Diversion Committee, and serves as Liaison Judge for Pretrial Services and Probation. He also serves on various circuit and national committees including the Magistrate Judges Advisory Group of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and on the Capital Case Committee of the Ninth Circuit.

A 1981 graduate of Columbia University School of Law, he clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He worked as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and as associate then partner at Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer (now Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass).

While in private practice, he trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School and served as a mediator in the Northern District's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. He also served as a Judge Pro-Tem for the San Francisco County Superior Court.

Judge Spero served as pro bono counsel in a variety of cases. He received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Bar Association of the City of New York.

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