A former civil litigator, federal prosecutor, and federal magistrate judge, Judge David Ruiz is well-qualified for a federal trial level position, and is expected to receive a comfortable confirmation.
David Augustin Ruiz received his B.A. from Ohio State University in 1997, and his J.D. from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2000. After law school, Ruiz spent two years in Pittsburgh before returning to Ohio to work at Calfee Halter & Griswold in Cleveland.
In 2010, Ruiz became a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.
In 2016, Ruiz was selected to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He continues to serve in that capacity today.
History of the Seat
Ruiz has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. This seat was vacated on February 15, 2021, when Judge Solomon Oliver moved to senior status.
Before he joined the federal bench, Ruiz practiced with Calfee Halter & Griswold in Cleveland. Among the matters he handled there, Ruiz defended Wells Fargo Bank West against a class action suit in Ohio state court alleging failure to properly record mortgages. See Coleman v. Wells Fargo Bank West N.A., 2008-Ohio-3559 (Ohio App. 8th 2008). In another case, Ruiz represented a public utility company in successfully defending against a suit alleging damages from power surges. Pro Se Commer. Props. v. Illuminating Co., 2010-Ohio-516 (Ohio App. 8th 2010).
From 2010 to 2016, Ruiz served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. In the office, among other matters, Ruiz defended denials of supplemental security income from the Social Security Administration. See, e.g., Jones v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 933 F. Supp. 2d 934 (N.D. Ohio 2013). See also Henry v Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 973 F. Supp. 2d 796 (N.D. Ohio 2013).
Ruiz has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio since his appointment in 2016. Among his most notable cases, Ruiz served as the magistrate judge on a securities fraud action involving ViewRay, Inc., a MRI-guided radiation systems manufacturer. See Plymouth Cty. Ret. Ass’n v. ViewRay, Inc., 2021 U.S. Dist. 160230 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 25, 2001).
Ruiz has little that should cause him trouble during his confirmation. As a relatively uncontroversial nominee, he should be confirmed early next year.
One thing not mentioned here but was stated his questionnaire to the senate Judiciary committee is the following…
“ While in private practice, I represented multiple clients pro bono through the Cleveland Legal Aid Society. These representations included protecting an older individual’s property rights from a family member seeking to take control of the family home, defending tenants being evicted from their rental home against property damage claims, and counseling an individual on her rights in connection with the purchase of a used vehicle. Although ethics regulations prohibited me from representing pro bono clients while an Assistant U.S. Attorney, I continued to serve the community through brief advice clinics offered by the Hispanic Bar Association and Legal Aid Society.
Seems like a fair compromise in a state with one senator from each party. Hopefully fair compromises can be made in other such states going forward.
In a separate issue, the Biden White House just announced its tenth batch of judicial nominees. I was surprised by the choice for the 6th Circuit. Andre Mathis is a name I’ve never heard before. Here’s the list of two:
I predicted the first black man nominated to the appeals court by Biden would come from the 6th circuit on another post. I thought it would be Edward Stanton but I’m delighted at Andre Mathis. He’s around 40 years old & worked at the innocence project. I’ll put the link below regarding the Tennessee senators being upset they were not “properly consulted” which makes me even happier about the pick. This should be the standard for the remaining appeals court vacancies in states with at least one Republican senator when you know they won’t work in good faith. Republicans did it so Democrats need to respond in kind.
I had also expected Edward Stanton. He was originally recommended by progressive Congressman Steve Cohen but won the strong support of the state’s two Republican Senators (Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both since retired), giving him some cross-party appeal We had speculated on him in prior postings.
The current Senators are claiming that the White House didn’t consult them on the nominee, I have no idea how the negotiations were going, or even if there were negotiations. If the White House can produce evidence of consultation, that would be a plus for Mathis.
Interestingly, progressives are lukewarm about Mathis, citing his background as a corporate lawyer.
I’m not completely thrilled about Mathis, but he seems acceptable to me. Looks like a fairly conventional pick with some experience in criminal defense. I would have preferred Lee Harris in that case, but I think his interests are in politics anyway. And to be fair I don’t know how many young lawyers with a clear progressive background (who are not prosecutors or corporate lawyers) in the Memphis area who would be a good choice for this 6th Circuit seat. There certainly were several quality candidates in the Nashville area, however.
The current senators of Tennessee are extreme right-wingers. They are not former senators Alexander and Corker. There is less than zero need to consult them here. I forgot if one of them supported Trump’s attempt to overturn the election (if that is the case they should be consulted on nothing including US attorneys and district judges).
Shawn, I think Andre Mathis is a perfect example of what you & I were writing about on another post. In my opinion I agree with you that civil rights, voting rights, labor union & other under represented backgrounds should be given priority for Biden’s judicial nominees.
Where I disagreed with you on is that just because somebody has a corporate background or is a big law firm partner, it doesn’t disqualify them from also being a proven progressive.
Andre Mathis does pro bono work for the Tennessee Innocence’s Project. Unless anybody is slipping my mind, I do not believe we have ever had a federal judge that worked with their state’s Innocence Project. I actually wrote I thought Nilam Sanghvi would be a great choice for the 3rd circuit vacancy. She is the Pennsylvania Innocence Project’s legal director & was bnorn around 1977.
I don’t think if somebody decides to take a career path that will make them more money such as a big law firm partner makes them any less progressive when they also do pro bono work as in the case of Mr. Mathis. With him being around 40 years old & from what I have read in his background, he seems like a phenomenal chose to me. Reading the Tennessee senators are upset only makes him that much better in my view.
I’m not going to lie, I would certainly prefer someone better than Andre Mathis, someone who is not a Big Law partner. But I would prefer Mathis to Edward Stanton or Judge Camille McMullen, who are a decade older and likely more moderate.