January 5, 2001
Superior Court Judge Federico Castro will officially step down from the bench January 8 after 13 years of service in family, juvenile, and criminal courts.
The judge served his first three years in family law and motion, then transferred to Juvenile Court for a five-year stint handling both delinquency and dependency cases. He also served as Supervising Dependency judge for one year before returning downtown for seven years in the criminal courts.
"Juvenile Court was the most productive of my assignments," Judge Castro said. "It was the only place where I really felt that we made a difference for the youngsters that were there. We got many families straightened out in dependency, and in delinquency, both the youngster and the family. We weren't 100 percent successful, but we did make a difference in a lot of families".
While at Juvenile, the judge coordinated a meeting with San Diego and Tijuana child protection officials to develop a better relationship between the two jurisdictions. He also was a member of the California Task Force to Review Juvenile Crime and the Juvenile Justice Response as well as the Judicial Council's standing advisory committee on family and juvenile issues.
"Judge Castro has been an invaluable asset to the court," said Presiding Judge Wayne L. Peterson. "Not only has he been the consummate judge, he has supported the court through important committee assignments and as a former member of the Executive Committee. We are fortunate to have him continue his service as an assigned judge."
Judge Castro's honors include the 1997 Humanitarian Service in Benefit of Children Award from the Rotary Club, the Arthur E. Hughes Career Achievement Award from USD Law School, and the law school's Distinguished Alumni Award.
A 1987 appointment by Governor George Deukmejian, Judge Castro formerly was a partner in private practice for 14 years with the firm of Sheela, Lightner, Hughes & Castro, pursuing the same specialities that he later followed on the bench. He previously had served two years with the City Attorney's office.
Judge Castro served on the school board of La Jolla Country Day School, the Board of Governors of the San Diego Community Foundation, and the Board of Directors from 1974-80 of the Federal Defenders, State Defenders and Appellate Defenders in San Diego.
A California native, the judge entered law school as a second career after 14 years in retailing with Oakland's H.C. Capwell Co., where he was Personnel Superintendent and served on the Mayor's Manpower Commission. He graduated from the School of Business Administration at the University of California at Berkeley and from the USD School of Law.
The judge will continue in his criminal department on assignment by the Chief Justice as needed.