Scales of Justice

By Maura Dolan
August 1, 2013, 9:12 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — President Obama has selected two lawyers from the same California firm — a former federal prosecutor and a corporate attorney who helped challenge Proposition 8 — to fill openings on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

John B. Owens, 41, a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and Michelle T. Friedland, 41, a litigation partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before joining the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit, which hears appeals from California and eight other Western states.

As a former assistant U.S. attorney, Owens prosecuted white-collar and border crimes. Since joining Munger Tolles last year, Owens has worked primarily on complex business and Supreme Court litigation.

Born in Washington D.C., Owens earned his bachelor’s degree in 1993 from UC Berkeley and graduated first in his class from Stanford Law School in 1996. He clerked for 9th Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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