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Carlos Moreno, Retired California Supreme Court Justice, to Be Commencement Speaker for Santa Clara University School of Law

Wednesday, May. 4, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 4, 2011—Carlos Moreno, the recently retired California Supreme Court justice known for his thoughtful opinions and centrist appeal, will address graduating students at Santa Clara University School of Law’s 2011 commencement ceremony on May 21. The commencement is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the University’s Mission Gardens.

Moreno, 62, is currently of counsel with the Los Angeles firm of Irell & Manella. He is well known for his leadership of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, which led to improvements in the state foster-care system, and for many landmark state decisions on issues ranging from gun control to same-sex marriage to class actions. 

“We are extremely pleased that Justice Moreno has accepted our invitation,” said Donald J. Polden, dean of Santa Clara University’s School of Law. “As an exceptional lawyer and a judge at almost every level of the judiciary, he has shown that respect for the law and compassion for those most in need can co-exist. Those are the values we hope our graduates take with them into their careers as well.”

Formerly, Moreno was a federal judge presiding over intellectual property, trademark and criminal cases. Prior to that post, he served as state court trial judge in Los Angeles and as a city prosecutor and commercial-law attorney in private practice.

Moreno was widely admired as a moderate judge, having been nominated twice by Republican governors and twice by Democrats. On the California Supreme Court, he was the only Hispanic justice and the only Democrat. In 2002 he wrote the majority opinion which upheld the right of cities and counties to ban gun shows on county properties, and in 2009 he wrote for the majority for a case that preserved the right of consumers to bring class actions against corporations.

“I’m pleased to speak to the graduates of Santa Clara Law School,” said Moreno. “They have received a strong grounding in diversity and social justice, values that have been extremely important to me throughout my legal career.”

Moreno received an undergraduate degree in political science from Yale and a law degree from Stanford Law School. A strong believer in the value of ethnic diversity on the bench, he is a longtime member and former president of the Mexican-American Bar Association.

He currently serves as a director of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center and the Western Justice Center Foundation.

About Santa Clara Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, founded in 1911 on the site of California’s oldest operating higher-education institution, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. One of the nation’s most diverse law schools, Santa Clara Law offers its 975 students an academically rigorous program, including graduate degrees in international law and intellectual property law; combined J.D./MBA degree; and certificates in intellectual property law, international law, and public interest and social justice law. Santa Clara Law is located in the world-class business center of Silicon Valley, and is distinguished nationally for our top-ranked program in intellectual property. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | (408) 554-5121 |

Tags: commencement, law school

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