Attorney Ignacio “Nacho” Torteya III was selected U.S. magistrate judge and is slated to begin his duties later this month in Brownsville.
The majority of U.S. district judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas selected Torteya, 42.
“We’re looking forward to having him,” U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen said Monday. “He’ll be an excellent addition.”
Hanen is the liaison judge for the district’s Brownsville Division.
Torteya said that, “having started my professional career as a federal law clerk, it is truly an honor to have been selected to serve.
“I am looking forward to this new chapter in my professional life, and intend to perform my duties as a member of the federal judiciary to the best of my abilities,” Torteya added.
He is scheduled to start working Jan. 27, and a public swearing-in ceremony would be scheduled in the near future.
Torteya succeeds U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio IV, who retired at the end of October after 14 years on the bench.
“He’s got both feet on the ground. He’ll do a good job,” Recio recently said following Torteya’s nomination to the bench last year by the majority of active U.S. district judges in the Southern District of Texas.
The district judges made the selection after a panel composed of attorneys and community members reviewed the applicants and recommended five persons it considered to be the best qualified.
Torteya’s official appointment by the district judges had been pending until the FBI and U.S. Internal Revenue Service completed vetting process, and a second vote by the district judges.
The term of office is eight years.
Torteya, who clerked for the late U.S. District Judge Filemon B. Vela, has been a managing attorney at The Torteya Law Firm, PLLC, a consular attorney, and associate judge at the City of Brownsville Municipal Court.
Torteya earned his law degree from Baylor University in November 1995 and was licensed to practice law in May 1996. He also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Baylor University.
The new U.S. magistrate judge also received a diploma in 1995 from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in U.S.-Mexico Comparative Law Studies.