Alka Sagar Becomes First Female Indian American Federal Judge in the Nation

Judge Alka Sagar

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California – The United States District Court for the Central District of California recently announced the selection of Alka Sagar as a United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Sagar, who became the first female Indian American federal judge in the nation when she was sworn in on August 21, told India America Today, “I am very excited about this opportunity to work for justice in serving the people of the United States.”

The North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) applauded Judge Sagar’s appointment and its President Nadeem Bezar said in a statement, “We are proud of Alka’s accomplishments and are very excited about her appointment.”

Sagar will join Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi, former SABA-SC (Southern California) President, on the bench. Judge Gandhi remarked that, “As a decorated federal prosecutor and, now, the first South Asian female federal judge in California, (Judge Sagar) exemplifies the best of America, and the Court is privileged to have her ample talents at hand.”

“She has not only one of the sharpest legal minds, but the rare gift of impeccable judgment. She has also exhibited a steadfast commitment to public service. In sum, Judge Sagar is an extraordinary person, and I am confidant she will be a terrific jurist,” added Judge Gandhi.

Judge Sagar will sit in Los Angeles in the Court’s Western Division, filling the position vacated by former Magistrate Judge Fernando M. Olguin when he was appointed as a District Judge in January 2013. Prior to her selection as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Sagar had served as an Assistant US Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles since 1987, serving as a Deputy Chief in the former Major Crimes Section since 1991 and as a Deputy Chief in the office’s Major Frauds Section since 2001.

As an Assistant US Attorney, Judge Sagar handled and supervised complex fraud, money laundering, and criminal tax matters from investigation through prosecution and appellate review, and was the recipient of an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for her prosecution of over 70 lawyers and doctors involved in a kickback scheme. From 2004 to 2006, she also served as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Before joining the US Attorney’s Office,

Judge Sagar was an associate at two law firms in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1981, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1984.

The Central District of California is comprised of the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, and serves approximately 18.7 million people – nearly half the population of the state of California. 

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