2023 Criminal Law Symposium
Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler
United States Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler was appointed to the Northern District of California in 2010. She presides over a full trial docket, including civil rights, intellectual property, employment, and other civil and commercial disputes. Judge Beeler has been an active proponent of criminal justice reform in the District: founding and co-chairing the Northern District’s Criminal Practice Committee, co-founding and implementing the Court’s reentry and diversion programs, and, in 2020, with United States District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., establishing and facilitating the Court’s Racial Justice Working Group. She is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Criminal Justice Task Force.
Before joining the court, Judge Beeler was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, investigating and prosecuting complex white-collar, gang violence, and public corruption cases. She also was the Office’s Professional Responsibility Officer and served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.
Judge Beeler was a law clerk to the Honorable Cecil F. Poole, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Civil Appeals Division Chief at the Ninth Circuit’s Office of Staff Attorneys. She graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Law, where she was Order of the Coif and an Articles Editor on the Washington Law Review. She received her A.B. with honors from Bowdoin College.
District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley
Jacqueline Scott Corley became a District Court Judge on April 1, 2022, following 11 years as a Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California. She has served as a judge on San Francisco’s Conviction Alternative Program (CAP) since its inception and currently meets monthly via Zoom with San Francisco CAP graduates.
Judge Corley graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was on the Law Review. Following graduation she clerked for Robert Keeton in the District of Massachusetts, and then did stints in private practice in Boston and San Francisco. In 1998, having two children aged 2 and under, she left private practice and became a career law clerk for the Hon. Charles R. Breyer. She served in that role until 2009, when she left to become a partner at a small, litigation firm then known as Kerr & Wagstaffe. She was appointed as a magistrate judge in May 2011.
Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins
Nat Cousins has served as a Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California since 2011. During the pandemic, he has been a member of the Court’s Santa Rita Jail Task Force and is the presiding judge in a class action, Babu v. Ahern, challenging conditions at Santa Rita Jail. He was an AUSA, Trial Attorney for the DOJ Antitrust Division, and partner at Kirkland & Ellis before joining the court.
Assistant Federal Public Defender
Jodi Linker has been an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of California since 2007. After graduating from UCLA, she served as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer for nearly five years before attending Stanford Law School. Before becoming a public defender, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Charles R. Breyer, an extern for the Hon. Susan Illston, and an associate at Clarence, Dyer & Cohen.
Chief U.S. Pretrial Services Officer
A native of San Francisco, Silvio has worked in the field of pretrial services and community supervision for nearly 30 years. He joined the U.S. Pretrial Services Agency for the Northern District of California in 1994 and held several officer and leadership positions before being appointed as the Chief Pretrial Services Officer in 2018. Silvio is a graduate of the Federal Judicial Center’s Leadership Development Program and presently serves on the FJC’s Probation and Pretrial Services Education Advisory Committee. During his career Silvio has remained committed to promoting and expanding alternatives to incarceration programs that meet the needs of the pretrial population. He was involved with the development and implementation of the Northern District of California’s Conviction Alternatives Program, a drug court, and Leading Emerging Adults to Develop Success (LEADS), a pilot program designed to divert young adults from the prison system. He is also involved in several studies with academic partners exploring race and bail and alternative to incarceration programs. Silvio sits on several local, Circuit, and judiciary wide committees representing the interests of the pretrial services community.
U.S. Attorney, Northern District of California
Ismail Ramsey is the 53rd United States Attorney for the Northern District of California. He took the oath of office on March 21, 2023.
Previously, he was a founding partner of Ramsey & Ehrlich LLP in Berkeley, California, where he worked since 2006. Mr. Ramsey served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California from 1999 to 2003. From 1997 to 1999 and 2003 to 2005, he was an associate at Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco, California. Mr. Ramsey served as a law clerk for then-Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1996 to 1997. Mr. Ramsey received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1996, his M.B.A from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996, and his A.B. from Harvard College in 1989. Mr. Ramsey is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Assistant Federal Public Defender
Mr. Rizk is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Francisco. He is a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council. Mr. Rizk is also a Director of the Bar Association of San Francisco and sits on the Steering Committee of the Bar’s Criminal Justice Reform Task Force. He is a member of the BART Police Department Citizen Review Board. He was previously in private practice at the San Francisco law firm of Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP. Mr. Rizk served as a law clerk to Judge Richard Seeborg on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and Judge Jacqueline Nguyen on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Rizk studied law and public policy at Stanford University, and attended Harvard College.
Chief Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu
Chief Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu joined the Northern District bench in March 2010, and has presided over consent cases in a wide variety of fields, including commercial disputes, intellectual property, employment, civil rights, consumer, environmental, maritime, and constitutional law. She conducts settlement conferences in all major practice areas, and manages discovery in complex matters, including multi-district litigation. Judge Ryu has served on numerous court committees, including Local Rules, Subcommittee on E-Discovery, and Pro Bono Projects, among others. She also co-presides over the Oakland Reentry Court.
Judge Ryu began her career as a commercial litigator at a large San Francisco firm before specializing in employment class actions as a named partner in a small firm. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Ryu was a Clinical Professor of Law at U.C. Law San Francisco, and before that at Golden Gate University Law School.
She has been honored as a California Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law. She is the recipient of the Asian American Bar Association’s Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy, the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazers Award. She co-designed a national training institute on class actions, and has written and lectured in the areas of employment law, e-discovery, pretrial practice, attorneys’ fees, class actions, ethics, and professionalism.
Judge Ryu graduated with honors from Yale University and received her law degree in from U.C. Berkeley Law School.
Partner, Swanson & McNamara LLP
Ed Swanson is a partner at Swanson & McNamara LLP where he specializes in criminal defense and complex civil litigation. Before he and Mary McNamara started the firm almost 25 years ago, Ed was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Francisco, and he clerked for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson.