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The Hon. Henry Bemporad

Practicing Faculty



  • J.D. Stanford University with honors, 1988
  • B.A. University of Texas at Austin with highest honors, 1985

License to Practice

  • Texas
  • U.S. Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Specialties and Courses

  • Advanced Legal Writing
  • Federal Criminal Law
  • Federal Sentencing
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Federal Criminal Procedure


Judge Bemporad has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Texas in the San Antonio Division since 2012. He was the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas from 2007–12. He previously served as Deputy Federal Public Defender from 1998–2007, as a Supervisory Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1993–98 and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1990–93. From 1988 to 1990, he clerked for United States District Judge Edward C. Prado.

Judge Bemporad recently served on the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions for the District Judges Association of the Fifth Circuit, assisting in the preparation of Pattern Jury Instructions (Criminal Cases) (2015 ed.). Judge Bemporad served the U.S. Courts as the appellate representative to the Office of Defender Services Training Expert Panel, as co-chair of the Defender Supreme Court Resource & Assistance Panel and as Defender Liaison to the Judicial Conference Criminal Law Committee.

He also previously served as co-chair of the National Association of Federal Defenders Amicus Committee, as Fifth Circuit vice-chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Amicus Committee, and as a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Judge Bemporad also co-founded and has served for many years as regular faculty of the Federal Judicial Center’s Appellate Writing Workshop.

Honors and Awards

  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Presidents Award, 2007, 2010, 2012
  • National Outstanding Assistant Federal Defender, National Association of Federal Defenders, 2002
  • University of Texas, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988



  • An Introduction to Federal Sentencing (1st through 13th editions).  This publication, formerly titled An Introduction to Federal Guideline Sentencing, was originally prepared on behalf of Federal Public Defenders nationwide and published by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The Introduction has been reprinted in whole or part in many legal treatises, manuals, and magazines. Large portions of the Introduction were included in Volume II of Defending a Federal Criminal Case, published by the Federal Defenders of San Diego in 2010.

Articles in a Periodical

  • “Supreme Court Vacancy? Rehnquist Is the Real Story of the Supreme Court’s 2004 Criminal Cases” Voice for the Defense (Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Sept. 2005)
  • With Sarah P. Kelly, Novel Issues, Futile Issues, and Appellate Advocacy: The Troubling Lessons of Bousley v. United States, 35 St. Mary’s L.J. 93 (2003)