Silvia Carreño Coll

Académica de Número (Electa)

Academia Puertorriqueña de Jurisprudencia y Legislación



University of Puerto Rico School of Law
San Juan, PR
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude May 1986
Member of the Law Review

Emerson College
Boston, MA
Bachelor in Arts, Cum Laude May 1983
Gold Key Honor Society



United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico 
San Juan, P.R.
U.S. District Judge
March 2020 – Present

As an Article III Judge, I preside over all criminal and civil matters within the purview of the federal jurisdiction and within the constitutional constraints.

United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico 
San Juan, P.R. 
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Sept. 2011 – March 2020

As a full-time magistrate judge I handled criminal and civil matters in accordance with 28 USC § 636, and other duties as authorized by the District of Puerto Rico Local Rule 159. I presided over jury and non-jury trials. I have handled complex evidentiary issues, including patent infringement Markman hearings, Daubert hearings, and Franks hearings, among others. I regularly conducted initial scheduling conferences, settlement conferences, and mediations in civil cases and initial appearances, arraignments, bail hearings, suppression hearings, Foster hearings, and Nebbia hearings in criminal cases. I conducted a foreign national transfer hearing in Venezuela and have written multiple reports and recommendations and opinions and orders on a myriad of issues, some of which have been published.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Regional Counsel 
San Juan, P.R.
Associate Regional Counsel for Caribbean Program
July 1995 – Sept. 2011

I started as an Assistant Regional Counsel and became the Associate Regional Counsel in January 2008. As Associate Regional Counsel, I was head of the legal division for EPA Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and was responsible for the enforcement of most environmental statutes. I had to oversee the work of the staff and coordinate with EPA Region II, EPA Headquarters, and the U.S. Department of Justice to guarantee that our orders were consistent with enforcement efforts throughout the nation.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico
San Juan, P.R.
Special Assistant U. S. Attorney
Jan. 1996 – July 2011

While working at EPA I was appointed as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for four tours of duty to prosecute environmental cases, both civil and criminal. Prosecutions involved the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and Endangered Species Act, among others.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico 
Civil and Criminal Division 
San Juan, P.R.
Assistant U. S. Attorney
April 1989—July 1995

During my tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I was assigned from 1989-1992 to the Civil Division and from 1992-1995 to the Criminal Division. As a civil AUSA, I handled mostly, but not exclusively, Federal Tort Claims Act cases from medical malpractice to personal injury, Bivens, and Section 1983 actions involving civil rights violations. On the criminal side, I handled violent crimes, drug trafficking, and white-collar prosecutions including FEMA fraud. I also did appellate work, including approximately six (6) oral arguments before the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. I was the prosecutor in the landmark case of USA v. Reynaldo Vazquez Rivera, which prompted a Congressional Amendment. See 83 F3d 542 (1st.Cir. 1996); 135 F3d 172 (1st Cir. 1998) and 142 Cong. Rec. at 3410-11; Statement on signing the Carjacking Correction Act of 1996, 1996 WL 13336081 (October 1, 1996).

Department of Justice for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
Federal Litigation Division 
San Juan, P.R.
Trial Attorney
Nov. 1986—April 1989

As an attorney for the Federal Litigation Division, I was tasked with defending the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and public officials from civil suits, mostly civil rights violations. A vast majority of the cases involved the Puerto Rico Police Department. I tried multiple jury trials, acquiring significant experience in federal practice.



I am the chairperson of the Federal Bar District Examination Committee. I was designated to the Federal Building Security Committee for the Federal Building and Courthouse in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am one of the two EEO/EDR Coordinators for the District Court in Puerto Rico. I have participated in the Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development for South American Judges and in the Department of Interior’s Environmental training for Latin American Judges and Prosecutors, both in Panama and in the Dominican Republic. I have served as a juror and judge in mock trial competitions for the Interamerican University School of Law, the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, The Georgetown School of Law, Pace School of Law, and the Puerto Rico Trial Advocacy competition. I assist Homeland Security Investigations in their Citizen’s Academy as an instructor. I preside over a post-conviction pilot reentry court program in the District of Puerto Rico (RESCATE) and participate in the District of Puerto Rico U.S. Attorney’s Office Project Lead program for public school children. I am a board member of a non-profit organization, Common Cause for Paws, dedicated to rescuing and relocating stray dogs and cats, or victims of animal cruelty.


I was the recipient of the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner’s Citation for Exemplary legal representation for the resulting opinion in USA v. 789 Cases of Latex Surgeon’s Gloves, 799 F. Supp. 1275 (DPR 1992). I was awarded the New York Federal Executive Board Award for outstanding service in the prosecution of asbestos contamination in Puerto Rico Department of Education schools. I was awarded the EPA’s Toxic Avenger award for expanding the definition of release under CERCLA. I received a Silver Medal from EPA for an exceptional contribution to a Clean Water Act case, also four EPA Bronze Awards, as well as a number of U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section, and Fish and Wildlife certificates of recognition and commendation.


I teach a one-credit seminar, Federal Practice, and Evidence, during the spring semester at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.