Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced today the appointment of attorney Fredrick E. Clement ’87 to serve as a judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California.
Clement, 51, will fill a judgeship to be vacated by Bankruptcy Judge Whitney Rimel, who plans to retire on March 15, 2012. He will officially take office on March 16, 2012 and plans to maintain chambers in Fresno.
“We welcome Mr. Clement to the bankruptcy bench. He is a knowledgeable and experienced practitioner who will be an asset to the Ninth Circuit,” Judge Kozinski said in announcing the appointment.
A solo practitioner in Redding, CA, since 1993, Clement is a certified specialist in all areas of bankruptcy law. He previously litigated in state courts, handling business and real estate disputes and was involved in a large number of bench trials and two multi-week jury trials.
A native of San Luis Obispo, CA, Mr. Clement received his B.A. from Westmont College in 1982 and graduated cum laude from UC Hastings.
Clement has served as a judicial arbitrator, hearing officer and judge pro tempore in state and municipal proceedings. Active in the bankruptcy legal community, he serves on the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Advisory Committee and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum. He founded the Redding-Chico Bankruptcy Forum in 2003.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California is the fifth busiest bankruptcy court in the nation with 51,481 filings in fiscal year 2011. The court is authorized seven bankruptcy judges. At the court’s request, Judge Rimel will continue to serve as a recalled bankruptcy judge available to preside over cases.
Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have statutory responsibility for selecting and appointing bankruptcy judges in the nine western states that comprise the Ninth Circuit. The court uses a comprehensive merit selection process for the initial appointment and for reappointments. Bankruptcy judges serve a 14-year, renewable term and handle all bankruptcy-related matters under the Bankruptcy Code.