John W. Holcomb is a U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California, Southern Division, in Santa Ana, California. Judge Holcomb was nominated for that position by President Donald J. Trump in November 2019 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 2020.
Judge Holcomb earned his S.B. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. For the next five years, Judge Holcomb served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, including assignments aboard the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey (BB-62) and to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. In 1993, Judge Holcomb received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Judge Holcomb then served as a law clerk for Judge Ronald Barliant of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Thereafter, Judge Holcomb joined Irell & Manella LLP as an associate, practicing bankruptcy law and general civil litigation. In 1997, Judge Holcomb joined the intellectual property law firm of Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP, and he was elevated to partner in 2002. As a partner at Knobbe Martens, Judge Holcomb tried major, complex litigation matters involving patents, copyrights, and trade secrets in the Central and Southern Districts of California, San Diego County Superior Court, and the Delaware Chancery Court. He also argued appeals before the Federal Circuit and the Delaware Supreme Court.
Judge Holcomb retired from Knobbe Martens in 2018, and he briefly practiced as a bankruptcy and litigation sole-practitioner before joining the firm Greenberg Gross LLP as a partner in 2019. At Greenberg Gross, Judge Holcomb litigated intellectual property cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, conducted mediations, and served as a Special Master.