United States District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston (JLT)

Federal Judicial Service:

U. S. District Court, Eastern District of California

Nominated by Joseph R. Biden on September 12, 2021 to a seat vacated by the Hon. Lawrence J. O'Neill. Confirmed by the Senate on December 17, 2021, and received commission on December 27, 2021.

United States Magistrate Judge, appointed December 31, 2009



California State University, Bakersfield, B.S. Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, 1989

California Pacific School of Law, J.D., 1997

Duke University, Master of Laws, 2018


Professional Career:

Deputy County Counsel, Office of the Kern County Counsel, Bakersfield, CA

Judge Pro Tem, Kern County Superior Court , Bakersfield, CA



Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston was appointed in 2009. Since this time, she has presided over numerous bench trials and jury trials. She has extensive experience with discovery matters and case-dispositive and non-dispositive law and motion practice. She has conducted hundreds of settlement conferences and has successfully settled cases involving complicated and highly technical issues.

Before appointment, Judge Thurston was an active litigator and handled a huge variety of cases including, for example, civil rights matters, personal injury claims, wrongful death actions, premises liability claims, elections law challenges, subrogation actions and employment disputes, among other topics. She became a Certified Appellate Specialist in 2005 and, before her appointment, had handled more than 100 appeals and writs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fifth District Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.

In addition to her role as the ADR Judge for the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California and a member of the District’s Technology User Group Committee, she is the Editor of the Federal Magistrate Judges' Association electronic newsletter, The Bulletin. As a former Board Member, Treasurer and Vice President of the Kern County Bar Association, Judge Thurston remains an active member of that group.

Judge Thurston has significant experience and brings a unique, practical perspective to the cases brought before her. Judge Thurston sits in Bakersfield primarily but hears cases in Fresno as well.