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Governor Newsom Announces Judicial Appointments 10.5.23

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his appointment of 15 Superior Court Judges, which include one in Butte County; one in Kern County; one in Kings County; one in Monterey County; one in Orange County; one in Placer County; one in Sacramento County; two in San Joaquin County; one in Santa Barbara County; one in Santa Clara County; one in Sonoma County; one in Stanislaus County; and two in Sutter County.

Butte County Superior Court

Virginia Gingery, of Butte County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Butte County Superior Court. Gingery has served as a Commissioner at the Butte County Superior Court since 2021 and was a Research Attorney there from 2019 to 2021. She has served as a Professor at Cal Northern School of Law since 2018. She served as a Deputy County Counsel in the Butte County Counsel’s Office from 2015 to 2019 and was a Sole Practitioner from 2013 to 2015. Gingery was an Associate at the Law Office of Gregory P. Einhorn from 2008 to 2013. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Cal Northern School of Law. Gingery fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sandra L. McLean. She is a Democrat.

Kern County Superior Court

Bradley King Jr., of Kern County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Kern County Superior Court. King has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Kern County District Attorney’s Office since 2015. He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office from 2012 to 2015 and as a Law Clerk at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 2012. King earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on July 1, 2022. He is a Democrat.

Kings County Superior Court

Marianne Gilbert, of Kings County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Kings County Superior Court. Gilbert has been a Contract Attorney for Kings County working on court-appointed cases since 1988. She was Principal at Armona Union Academy from 1999 to 2005 and at Foothill Adventist Elementary School from 1997 to 1999. Gilbert earned a Doctor of Education degree from La Sierra University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Willamette University College of Law. She fills the vacancy of a new position created on July 1, 2022. She is registered without party preference.

Monterey County Superior Court

Murat Ozgur, of Monterey County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Monterey County Superior Court. Ozgur has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office since 2011. He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Marin County District Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2011 and at the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office from 2002 to 2004. Ozgur served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office from 2001 to 2002. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law. Ozgur fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Larry Hayes. He is a Democrat.

Orange County Superior Court

Stephen Hicklin, of Orange County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Hicklin has been a Sole Practitioner since 2018 and Of Counsel at Bonial & Associates PC since 2020. He was an Associate at the Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti from 2016 to 2018 and Senior Litigation Counsel at Buckley Madole PC from 2014 to 2016. Hicklin was General Counsel at Northwest Trustee Services Inc. from 2012 to 2014 and Senior Counsel at Wright, Finlay & Zak LLP from 2010 to 2012. He held several positions at Countrywide Home Loans/Bank of America from 2003 to 2010, including Senior Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Hicklin was Assistant Vice President and Litigation Counsel at North American Title Insurance Company from 2001 to 2002, Senior Counsel at Bergeson Eliopoulos LLP from 2000 to 2001 and Senior Litigation Counsel at WMC Mortgage Corp. from 1998 to 2000. He was Associate Counsel and Senior Associate Counsel at Glendale Federal Bank, FSB from 1993 to 1998. Hicklin was an Associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1991 to 1992 and at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP from 1988 to 1991. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James L. Crandall. Hicklin is a Democrat.

Placer County Superior Court

Melissa Begley, of Placer County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Placer County Superior Court. Begley has served as a Commissioner at the Placer County Superior Court since 2023. She served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Placer County District Attorney’s Office from 2011 to 2023. She was a Law Clerk at the United Law Center in 2011 and served as a Volunteer Attorney at the Placer County District Attorney’s Office from 2010 to 2011. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Begley fills the vacancy of a new position created on July 1, 2022. She is a Republican.

Sacramento County Superior Court

Alin Cintean, of Sacramento County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Cintean has served as a Commissioner at the Sacramento County Superior Court since 2020. He was a Sole Practitioner from 2013 to 2020. Cintean was a Partner at Dudek, Bonilla & Cintean LLP from 2012 to 2014 and at Bonilla and Cintean LLP from 2010 to 2013. He was a Professor at the University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law from 2011 to 2013 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office from 2005 to 2010. Cintean earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael Kenny. Cintean is registered without party preference.

San Joaquin County Superior Court

Allan F. Jose, of San Joaquin County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Joaquin County Superior Court. Jose has been a Sole Practitioner since 2005. He was a Partner and Attorney at Jose & Barrera APC from 2005 to 2016. Jose served as a Deputy District Attorney at the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2005 and was an Associate at Cook Brown LLP from 2001 to 2002. He was an Associate at Murphy Pearson Bradley and Feeney from 2000 to 2001. Jose earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Linda Lofthus effective October 6, 2023. Jose is a Democrat.

Sabrina Schneweis-Coe, of San Joaquin County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Joaquin County Superior Court. Schneweis-Coe has served as Supervising Probate Attorney at the San Joaquin County Superior Court since 2019. She was a Partner at Schneweis-Coe & Bakken LLP from 2014 to 2019 and Counsel at Downey Brand LLP from 2010 to 2014. She was a Partner and Owner at Schneweis-Coe & Bakken, Attorneys at Law from 2002 to 2010 and an Associate at Drobny Law Offices Inc. from 2000 to 2002. Schneweis-Coe earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Anthony Lucaccini. She is a Democrat.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court

Kristy Imel, of San Luis Obispo County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Imel has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office since 2010. She was a Deputy District Attorney at the Merced County District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2010. Imel was an Adjunct Professor at Merced College from 2008 to 2009. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law. Imel fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Arthur Garcia. She is a Democrat.

Santa Clara County Superior Court

Kimberly Parker, of Sacramento County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Parker has served as a Commissioner at the Sacramento County Superior Court since 2018. She served as a Commissioner at the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 2016 to 2018 and was a Settlement Officer there from 2013 to 2016. Parker was a Partner at Parker Wesley & Associates & California Family Mediation Services from 2012 to 2013. She served as a Self-Help Attorney at the Alameda County Superior Court from 2006 to 2012. Parker was an Attorney at the Family Violence Law Center from 2005 to 2006 and at the Law Center for Families from 2003 to 2005. Parker developed and founded the Kellis E. Parker Fellowship in Law Teaching at Columbia Law School from 2001 to 2003. She was an Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman from 1999 to 2001 and Associate In-House Counsel at Fox News Network LLC from 1997 to 1999. Parker earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Paul Colin. She is a Democrat.

Sonoma County Superior Court

Kinna Patel Crocker, of Sonoma County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sonoma County Superior Court. Crocker has been a Sole Practitioner since 2013. She was an Associate at Terre Family Law from 2011 to 2013, at Lozano Smith from 2010 to 2011 and at Northern California Family Law Group from 2004 to 2008. Crocker earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Arthur Wick. She is a Democrat.

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Judge David Hood, of Stanislaus County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Stanislaus County Superior Court. He has served as a Judge in the Merced County Superior Court since 2023. Judge Hood served as a Legal Research Attorney at the Stanislaus County Superior Court from 2022 to 2023. He served as a Deputy County Counsel at the Merced County Counsel’s Office from 2019 to 2022. He served as a Senior Research Attorney at the Orange County Superior Court from 2013 to 2019, where he was a Coordinating Attorney from 2009 to 2013 and a Research Attorney from 2005 to 2009. Judge Hood was Associate Counsel at the Law Offices of Kevin McGowen from 2002 to 2005. He worked as a Legal Assistant at various temporary agencies from 1992 to 2002 and was an Associate at Goldberg, Stinnett & MacDonald in 1991 and at Martin, Ryan & Andrada in 1990. Judge Hood earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ricardo Cordova. He is a Democrat.

Sutter County Superior Court

John Hinely, of Colusa County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sutter County Superior Court. Hinely has served as a Commissioner for the Superior Courts of Colusa, Glenn, Plumas and Tehama Counties since 2022. He was an Adjunct Professor at Cal Northern School of Law from 2021 to 2023 and an Attorney at the California Department of Housing and Community Development from 2020 to 2022. Hinely served as a Judge Pro Tem at the Colusa County Superior Court from 2019 to 2022 and was a Sole Practitioner from 2008 to 2020. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Cal Northern School of Law. Hinely fills the vacancy of a new position created on July 1, 2022. He is registered without party preference.

Jesse Santana, of Sutter County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sutter County Superior Court. Santana has been a Partner at Santana and Smith Law Firm, P.C. since 2014. He was a Sole Practitioner from 2011 to 2014 and a Partner at the Law Offices of Beauchamp & Santana from 1995 to 2011. Santana was an Associate at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May from 1988 to 1995 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1994. He earned a Master of Laws degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sarah Heckman. Santana is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $232,399.

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