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SABA-SC Applauds the Historic Appointmen

August 28, 2013

SABA-SC Applauds the Historic Appointment of Alka Sagar as Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

The South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (“SABA-SC”) (www.sabasc.org) applauds Alka Sagar’s appointment as Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Alka will be the first South Asian female federal judge in the Central District and west of the Mississippi.

“This appointment is exciting,” stated Puneet V. Kakkar, SABA-SC President. “Alka has been a leader and a mentor for South Asian attorneys for more than two decades. She has embraced public service her entire life, and the bench and people of the Central District will be enriched with her appointment.” Alka has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the past twenty-six years, and has served as Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds and Major Crimes Sections. She has handled a large number of significant criminal cases from initial investigation, prosecution and appellate review, including the nation’s first adoption fraud prosecution, the largest cash robbery in U.S. history, a complex fraud and money laundering case involving a British expatriate in which she worked closely with Scotland Yard, and the criminal tax and bankruptcy fraud prosecution of a civil rights attorney. In addition to receiving numerous commendations from federal law enforcement agencies for her work, she is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance and has been named as one of the top fifty trial lawyers in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She is also asked to regularly speak on issues involving tax fraud before the American Bar Association and International Bar Association.

Alka has also been significantly committed to the community. She has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court, participated in Project Lead, a program in which prosecutors teach inner city school children about the legal system, and volunteered with Public Counsel to assist low income families with adoptions. She has also served on the Board of Directors for SABA-SC, most recently as SABA-SC’s Judicial Appointments Co-Chair. In 2009, SABA-SC’s Public Interest Foundation awarded Alka with the Trailblazer Award for her career accomplishments. She is also featured in many panels hosted by organizations such as the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA).

Alka will join Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi, former SABA-SC President, on the bench. Judge Gandhi remarks 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.”

Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal noted that Alka has been “an enormously well respected member of the United States Attorney’s Office and lawyer. She is admired for her tremendous skill as a lawyer and also for her extraordinarily calm and gracious temperament. She will make an outstanding addition to our bench.”

Beong-Soo Kim of Jones Day praised Alka for embodying “the noblest qualities of the legal profession. No one has worked harder, with greater passion and compassion, in the pursuit of justice. We in this District are very fortunate that Alka will be bringing these remarkable qualities to the magistrate bench. She will be superb.”

For more information, please contact Vikas Bhargava, SABA-SC Publicity Co-Chair, at socalsaba@gmail.com.

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