The Honorable Charles R. Breyer

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Department 6

Biography

The Hon. Charles R. Breyer is a senior district judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He was nominated to the bench by former President Bill Clinton on July 24, 1997 to fill a seat vacated by the Hon. D. Lowell Jensen.

Breyer earned an A.B. from Harvard College in 1963. He then completed a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1966.

He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Oliver Carter of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 1966. The following year, he accepted a position as counsel for the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco. He worked there briefly, as he was quickly asked to serve as an assistant district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of San Francisco County. He spent the next six years working in that capacity, eventually leaving to work as an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate Special Prosecution Force from 1973 to 1974.

Breyer left the public sector in 1974. He spent the next twenty-three years in private practice in San Francisco, a period that was briefly interrupted by a short stint as chief assistant district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of San Francisco County in 1979.

During his tenure as a district judge, Breyer received local attention for ruling against the City of San Francisco and its legislation to protect tenants form Ellis Act evictions in 2014.

His memberships have included the United States Judicial Conference and the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He has also served as vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission.

He is a recipient of the 34th Annual Devitt Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an Article III federal judge.

Breyer was born in San Francisco, California. His brother is Justice Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States.