Southwestern Alum and Trustee Confirmed to Federal Bench
On Thursday, March 15, the U.S. Senate confirmed Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Otis D. Wright II '80 to a seat on the United States District Court, Central District of California. Judge Wright was one of five nominees selected by President George Bush for the federal bench on January 9. Receiving enthusiastic bipartisan approval, Judge Wright was praised by several senators including Arlen Spector (R-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who spoke glowingly of his many contributions and professional accomplishments before the Senate voted to confirm him. As a Central District judge, he will hear cases from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.
Judge Wright began his legal career as a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Section of the California Department of Justice. During his three years in the office, he handled more than 200 appeals before the state's Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He went on to join the international law firm of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, specialists in all matters related to insurance, where he became a partner and was a civil litigator for more than 20 years. During that time, he was also a volunteer attorney with the HIV AIDS Legal Services Alliance, handling housing and employment discrimination cases as well as preparing wills for the terminally ill. In November 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Judge Wright to the Superior Court where he was assigned to the Substance Abuse Court.
Originally from Tuskegee, Alabama, Judge Wright earned his B.S. degree from California State University, Los Angeles in 1976 and his J.D. from Southwestern in 1980. Before attending college, Judge Wright served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and then spent 11 years as a deputy sheriff in Los Angeles where he worked while attending undergraduate and law schools. He was elected to Southwestern's Board of Trustees in 2002.
Judge Wright continues Southwestern's legacy of distinguished public servants and is the third alumnus to serve on the United States District Court in recent years.