Judge Ignacio Torteya, III was born in Brownsville, Texas. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Baylor University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Baylor University School of Law. After law school, Judge Torteya was an associate attorney with an international law firm in San Antonio before clerking for the late U.S. District Judge Filemon B. Vela in the Southern District of Texas. He was the managing member of the Torteya Law Firm, P.L.L.C. and a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Brownsville until he was appointed to the federal bench and sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas on January 24, 2014.
Judge Torteya previously served as Special Counsel to the Mexican Consulate in Brownsville and an Adjunct Professor of International Business Law at the former University of Texas at Brownsville. Judge Torteya is a member of the State Bar of Texas, National Federal Trial Judges Division of the American Bar Association, Federal Magistrate Judges Association (Former Co-Chair, Diversity Committee; Member, International Law Committee), Federal Bar Association-Southern District of Texas Chapter (Member, Board of Directors and Judicial Liaison), Cameron County Bar Association (Member, Board of Directors), and a former member of the U.S.-Mexico Bar Association.
Judge Torteya is frequently invited to speak to federal judges, prosecutors and defenders from Latin and South America at conferences held in Mexico, Puerto Rico and El Salvador regarding extraditions and the adversarial system in the U.S, sponsored by the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT).