Michael W. Fitzgerald is a United States District Judge for the Central District of California. He was appointed in 2012. He was the second openly gay man to be appointed an Article III judge, and was the first LGBT Article III judge outside of Manhattan. Before his appointment, Judge Fitzgerald practiced at Corbin, Fitzgerald & Athey LLP and its predecessor firms, focusing his practice on federal criminal cases and commercial litigation. While in private practice, he served as pro bono trial counsel for the class of LGBT FBI agents, employees and applicants in Buttino v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al.; the case resulted in the FBI’s abandoning its practice of not hiring openly LGBT agents. Judge Fitzgerald served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles from 1988 to 1991. He is a lifetime member of the LGBTQ+ Bar Association of Los Angeles. Judge Fitzgerald clerked for the Honorable Irving R. Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1985 to 1986. In 1985, he graduated from the School of Law of the University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley Law), where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.
Nuts & Bolts Academy for Judicial Candidates