San Mateo County judge, SF lawyer set for federal bench 

Two new federal trial judges for the San Francisco-based Northern District of California were confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Beth Freeman was approved for the federal bench by a 91-7 vote and San Francisco attorney James Donato was confirmed by a vote of 90-5.

Freeman will join the federal court’s San Jose branch and Donato will sit at the San Francisco courthouse.

The two new judges were nominated by President Barack Obama at the recommendation of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein said Tuesday that both new judges bring “strong qualifications ... and extremely important experience” to the federal bench.

Freeman, 60, has served on the San Mateo County Superior Court since 2001, including one year as presiding judge, and previously worked in the County Counsel’s Office. She earned her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her law degree from Harvard University.

Donato, 53, a former president of the San Francisco Bar Association, has worked primarily in private law practice and also served three years in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

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