Davila, 58, is expected to receive his commission shortly and will fill a judgeship that has been vacant since U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel took senior status on Oct. 30, 2009, according to the circuit executive’s office for the 9th Judicial Circuit.
President Barack Obama had nominated Davila in May 2010, but although the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Sept. 29 and recommended his confirmation Dec. 1, the Senate recessed without confirming him; the President re-nominated him Jan. 5.
Then-Gov. Gray Davis appointed Davila to the state court bench in 2001. Perhaps the most publicized case over which he presided was that of Anna Ayala and Jaime Placencia, who attempted to hoax the fast-food chain Wendy’s by planting a severed human finger in a bowl of chili.
Earlier, Davila had been in private law practice in Santa Clara and worked as a Santa Clara County deputy public defender. The Palo Alto native earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 1976 and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1979.
Federal trial judges hold lifetime appointments and earn an annual salary of $174,000.