Governor Brown Appoints Two Justices to the Fourth District Court of Appeal


12-23-2016

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of William S. Dato to Division One and Richard T. Fields to Division Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

Dato, 61, of Poway, has served as a judge at the San Diego County Superior Court since 2003. Dato was a partner at Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes and Lerach LLP from 1998 to 2003, where he was an associate from 1994 to 1998 and from 1982 to 1984. He was a senior research attorney at the Fourth District Court of Appeal from 1984 to 1994 and from 1981 to 1982. Dato was a research attorney at the California Supreme Court from 1980 to 1981. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University.

Dato fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James A. McIntyre. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Attorney General, and Senior Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez. Dato is a Democrat.

Fields, 57, of Corona, has been a judge at the Riverside County Superior Court since 2000, where he served as presiding judge from 2007 to 2008 and as a commissioner from 1991 to 2000. Fields served as a deputy public defender at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office from 1990 to 1991 and from 1985 to 1988. He was an attorney at the Law Offices of Reynolds, Bawden and Lawson from 1988 to 1990. Fields earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton.

Fields fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Jeffrey King. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Attorney General, and Senior Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez. Fields is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $219,272.

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