S. (Samuel) James Otero (born 1951) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Otero was born in Los Angeles, California. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School in 1976. Otero was an attorney for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office from 1976 to 1987. He was Regional Counsel for Southern Pacific Transportation Company from 1987 to 1988. Otero was a judge on the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1988 to 1990 and then a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1990 to 2003. On January 7, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Otero to a seat on the Central District vacated by Richard Paez.
He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 2003, and received his commission two days later. On August 29, 2013, Otero ruled that the West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration lease of VA land for the Jackie Robinson Stadium to UCLA, a film studio storage lot and other businesses is illegal. In March 2018, Otero was assigned the case of Clifford v. Essential Consultants, LLC et. al., which is the federal case that encompasses the details of the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal.