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Governor Newsom Announces Judicial Appointments, Including the First Openly Transgender Judge Appointed to the Bench in California

Andi Mudryk appointed to serve as a Judge on the Sacramento County Superior Court

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced eight judicial appointments, including Andi Mudryk – the first openly transgender individual appointed to the bench in California – who will serve as a Judge on the Sacramento County Superior Court. The Governor nominated Justice Maria E. Stratton as Presiding Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, and Martin N. Buchanan as Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One. The Governor announced his appointment of six Superior Court Judges, which include one in Contra Costa County; two in Riverside County; two in Sacramento County; and one in Siskiyou County.

Second District Court of Appeal

Justice Maria E. Stratton's Headshot

Justice Maria E. Stratton, 69, of Los Angeles, has been nominated to serve as Presiding Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight. She has served as an Associate Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight since 2018. Justice Stratton served as a Judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 2006 to 2018. She served as Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California from 1993 to 2006 and held several positions at Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle and Sadowsky from 1985 to 1993, including Managing Partner, Partner and Associate. She was an Associate at Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas from 1984 to 1985. Stratton served as a Deputy Federal Public Defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California from 1981 to 1984 and as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Harry Pregerson at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1979 to 1981. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Tricia Ann Bigelow. This position requires the completion of a review by the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. Justice Stratton is a Democrat.

Fourth District Court of Appeal

Martin N. Buchanan's Headshot

Martin N. Buchanan, 60, of San Diego, has been nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One. Buchanan has been a Sole Practitioner since 2010. He was a Partner at Niddrie, Fish & Buchanan LLP from 2005 to 2010 and a Sole Practitioner from 2004 to 2005 and 1992 to 2003. Buchanan served as a Research Attorney at the Fourth District Court of Appeal from 2003 to 2004 and was a Staff Attorney at Appellate Defenders Inc. from 1990 to 1992. He was an Associate at Remcho, Johansen & Purcell from 1988 to 1990 and at Farnsworth, Saperstein & Seligman from 1987 to 1988. He served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert F. Peckham at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California from 1986 to 1987. Buchanan earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia D. Benke. This position requires the completion of a review by the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission on Judicial Appointments consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senior Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez. Buchanan is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $257,562.

Contra Costa County Superior Court

Colleen A. Gleason's Headshot

Colleen A. Gleason, 44, of Lafayette, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Gleason has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office since 2002. She served as a Certified Law Clerk at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office from 2001 to 2002. Gleason earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Cheryl Mills. Gleason is registered without party preference.

Riverside County Superior Court

Manuel Bustamante Jr's Headshot

Manuel Bustamante Jr., 41, of La Quinta, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court. Bustamante has been a Trial Attorney at the Walter Clark Legal Group since 2019 and an Adjunct Professor at California State University, San Bernardino since 2009. He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office from 2006 to 2019. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine School of Law. Bustamante fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David A. Gunn. He is a Democrat.
Valerie A. Navarro's Headshot

Valerie A. Navarro, 40, of Eastvale, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court. Navarro has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Law Offices of the Riverside County Public Defender since 2007. She was a Paralegal at Community Legal Aid SoCal in 2007. Navarro earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State University, College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Bambi J. Moyer. She is a Democrat.

Sacramento County Superior Court

Andi Mudryk's Headshot

Andi Mudryk, 58, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Mudryk has served as Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Rehabilitation since 2020, where she served as Chief Counsel from 2018 to 2020. She was Director of Litigation and Policy Advocacy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County from 2017 to 2018 and Executive Director at Disability Rights Advocates in 2017. She served in several positions at Disability Rights California from 2006 to 2017, including Deputy Director, Director of Litigation, and Managing Attorney. Mudryk was Director of Litigation and Advocacy at the Arizona Center for Disability Law from 2002 to 2006. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. Mudryk is the first openly transgender individual appointed to the bench in California. She is a person with a disability, brittle bone disease. Mudryk fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Benjamin G. Davidian. She is a Democrat.
Alexander J. Pal's Headshot

Alexander J. Pal, 39, of Carmichael, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Pal has served as Chief Counsel at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2018, where he has served in several positions since 2013, including as Acting Chief Counsel, Assistant Chief Counsel, Senior Counsel and Staff Counsel. He was an Associate at the Law Offices of Stawicki and Maples from 2009 to 2013. Pal earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Trena H. Burger-Plavan. Pal is a Democrat.

Siskiyou County Superior Court

Thomas J. Linville II's Headshot

Thomas J. Linville II, 51, of Yreka, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Siskiyou County Superior Court. Linville has served as a Commissioner at the Siskiyou County Superior Court since 2020. He was an Associate at the Law Office of Darrin W. Mercier from 2004 to 2020. Linville earned a Juris Doctor degree from the John F. Kennedy University, College of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William J. Davis. He is registered without party preference.

The compensation for each of these positions is $225,074.

 

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