New magistrate judge appointed to Southern Calif. court

A criminal defense attorney was appointed as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, it was announced Friday.

Bernard Skomal is an honors graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. and earned his law degree in 1983 from Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

Skomal was the Senior Trial Attorney with Federal Defenders in San Diego until 1989, when he opened his own law practice.

Since then he has specialized in federal criminal defense, and has been certified by the California State Bar as a criminal law specialist.

A swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled as soon as background checks are completed, court officials said.