More Bay Area lawyers head for Justice Dept.

Tony West, the attorney from Oakland recently confirmed and sworn in as Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division, today announced he’s bringing a bunch of other Bay Area attorneys to Washington to work for him.

Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Miller Ravel will be Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Torts Branch and the Office of Consumer Litigation. Ravel is a 1974 University of California Hastings Law School graduate with an undergraduate degree from UC-Berkeley; she started her career as a Santa Clara County Superior Court law clerk and briefly practiced law on her own before joining the County Counsel’s office in 1977, rising through the ranks to the top.

The Torts Branch represents the government in lawsuits where monetary judgments are sought for damages resulting from alleged negligent or wrongful acts, as well as actions involving injury or damage to government property. The Office of Consumer Litigation is responsible for criminal and civil litigation and related matters arising under federal statutes administered by the Federal Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Brian Martinez, an associate in West’s former firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, will serve as West’s Chief of Staff. Earlier, Martinez had been a law clerk for Senior U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco; he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University in 1997 and a law degree from Stanford Law School in 2002 – between which he worked for two years in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Geoffrey Graber, another MoFo associate from San Francisco, will serve as Counsel to West. At MoFo, he handled consumer class actions, securities fraud, product defects, tort and contract law, as well as general civil litigation; he’s a 2000 graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, where he served as the Managing Articles Editor for the Southern California Law Review, and he earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1995 from Vassar College.

West also today named Juan Osuna — chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying U.S. immigration laws – to serve as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Immigration Litigation.

“We are fortunate to have these talented and committed individuals joining the Justice Department’s Civil Division,” West said in a news release. “I am confident that their service will meet the highest standards of the Division.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR

    Is this a stimulus for the local legal profession?