Facebook hires U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal is leaving the bench to take a position at Facebook Inc.

Grewal and a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the move.

He will join Facebook in late June as its Deputy General Counsel in charge of litigation, after serving in the North District of California since being appointed in December of 2010.

The Recorder first reported the move, noting that Grewal pulled out of several cases involving Facebook in January.

Grewal drew national attention for ordering a lawyer who made a sexist remark during a deposition to make a donation to a women’s legal nonprofit.

In his time on the bench he has ruled on cases involving the social network before, like this ruling on parents trying to access messages in their dead daughter’s account, or another case over an outside developer’s storage and use of customer data.

Grewal has also been a figure in the Apple vs. Samsung patent disputes, and started tweeting early last year.

In a statement, he confirmed the move, saying

“Joining Facebook presents a unique opportunity to work on complex legal and policy questions that affect billions of people all over the world in a variety of ways.”

Meanwhile, his new boss, VP General counsel Colin Stretch said

“Paul has presided over hundreds of cases as Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California, and has earned a reputation as a thoughtful and knowledgeable jurist with deep expertise in areas that are critically important to our company and our industry.”

Before joining the bench as a magistrate, Grewal worked at the law firms Pillsbury Madison & Sutro and at Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder which later merged with Howrey as well as serving as a law clerk to Federal Circuit appeals court judge Arthur J. Gajarsa.

His hiring was reported earlier Thursday by San Francisco-area legal newspaper The Recorder.