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Cuauhtemoc Ortega
USC Gould School of Law

Cuauhtemoc Ortega

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: August 30, 2021




Cuauhtemoc Ortega was appointed Federal Public Defender (FPD) for the Central District of California in October 2020 by the judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He began working in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in 2010 as a trial attorney, after working for a brief period at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. As a trial attorney, Ortega handled numerous jury trials regarding a wide-range of offenses, including firearms, fraud and criminal threats. In 2016, he became a supervisor and chair of the Office’s Diversity Committee; he was promoted to chief deputy in 2019. In his current capacity as Federal Public Defender, he supervises over 200 trial, appellate and habeas attorneys and legal support staff across three offices in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Riverside.

Ortega is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was Executive Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review and recipient of the Archie O. Dawson Prize for Oral Advocacy. Upon graduating from Columbia, he served as a law clerk to the late Hon. Alicemarie H. Stotler, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.

He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA, where he also served as editor in chief of the Daily Bruin student newspaper. He currently sits on the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association’s Criminal Law Section and on the Judicial Appointments Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. 

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Kenosha News
January 24, 2022
Re: Franita Tolson

Franita Tolson was interviewed about Republicans' success in blocking voter rights legislation. "A lot of states have voter I.D. laws, but it's important to distinguish between types of voter I.D. laws to the extent that a state has a restrictive one," she said. "But what we saw in the wake of the Shelby County decision was states enacted more restrictive voter IDs, voter I.D. laws because they don't have to preclear with the federal government."

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

D. Daniel Sokol
November, 2021

D. Daniel Sokol posted an Op-ed to the National Post titled “Competition law reforms not needed to meet the challenges of Big Tech,” November 17, 2021.

Robin Craig
November, 2021

"Environmental Law, Disrupted by COVID-19" (with Rebecca Bratspies, Vanessa Casado Perez, Lissa Griffin, Keith Hirokawa, Sarah Krakoff, Katrina Kuh, Jessica Owley, Melissa Powers, Shannon Roesler, Jonathan Rosenbloom, J.B. Ruhl, Erin Ryan, & David Takacs). In Environmental Law, Disrupted, edited by K. Hirokawa & J. Owley. Washington, D.C.: Environmental Law Institute, 2021.

Robert K. Rasmussen
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“COVID-19 Debt and Bankruptcy Infrastructure,” Yale Law Journal Forum 131 (2021): 337.