Governor Brown Appoints 34 Superior Court Judges


11-2-2017

SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of 34 California superior court judges, which include: One in Alameda County; one in Fresno County; 10 in Los Angeles County; one in Marin County; one in Mendocino County; one in Merced County; three in Orange County; two in Riverside County; two in San Bernardino County; two in San Diego County; two in San Francisco County; two in San Luis Obispo County; one in San Mateo County; one in Santa Clara County; one in Sonoma County; one in Stanislaus County; one in Tulare County; and one in Ventura County.

Alameda County Superior Court

Barbara A. Dickinson, 56, of Oakland, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Alameda County Superior Court. Dickinson has served as an assistant public defender at the Alameda County Public Defender's Office since 2013, where she was a deputy public defender from 1989 to 2013. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Larry J. Goodman. Dickinson is a Democrat.

Fresno County Superior Court

Monica R. Diaz, 46, of Visalia, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Fresno County Superior Court. Diaz has served as a chief deputy district attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney's Office since 2015, where she served as a deputy district attorney from 2000 to 2015. She served as a deputy public defender at the Fresno County Public Defender's Office from 1999 to 2000 and was an associate at John A. Barker and Associates in 1999. Diaz earned a Juris Doctor degree from the San Joaquin College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fresno. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Kathleen A. Meehan to the Court of Appeal. Diaz is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Rashida A. Adams, 39, of Pasadena, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Adams has served as a senior appellate court attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal since 2009, where she was an appellate court attorney from 2008 to 2009. She was an associate at Caldwell Leslie and Proctor PC from 2005 to 2007 and at Bernabei and Katz PLLC from 2002 to 2005. Adams earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Adams is a Democrat.

Brett Bianco, 49, of Altadena, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Bianco has served as court counsel at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2001. He was senior associate at Green de Bortnowsky and Quintanilla from 2000 to 2001 and a deputy district attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney's Office from 1993 to 2000. Bianco earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Bianco is a Democrat.

Bruce E. Brodie, 66, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Brodie has been chief deputy alternate public defender in the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender's Office since 2012, where he has served in several positions since 1994, including division chief, head deputy and trial attorney. He served as a deputy public defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office from 1991 to 1994. Brodie earned a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Brodie is a Democrat.

Steve Cochran, 60, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Cochran has been a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP since 1991. He was a partner at Wyman Bautzer Kuchel and Silbert from 1990 to 1991, where he was an associate from 1987 to 1990. Cochran served as a deputy federal public defender at the Federal Public Defender's Office, Central District of California from 1983 to 1987 and as a law clerk for the Honorable William P. Gray at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1982 to 1983. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John L. Henning. Cochran is a Democrat.

Nicole M. Heeseman, 44, of San Clemente, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Heeseman has served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2014, where she was managing research attorney from 2006 to 2014, supervising research attorney from 2001 to 2006 and a research attorney from 1999 to 2001. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John P. Doyle. Heeseman is registered without party preference.

Wesley L. Hsu, 46, of Pasadena, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has served as Deputy U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California since 2017, where he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2000 to 2017. He was an associate at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP from 1997 to 2000 and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mariana R. Pfaelzer at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1996 to 1997. Hsu earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Yale University. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Hsu is a Democrat.

Martha A. Matthews, 54, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She has been directing attorney of the Children's Rights Project at Public Counsel since 2011. She was writ attorney and supervising attorney at the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles from 2005 to 2011 and an assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at the University of Southern California School of Law from 2004 to 2005. Matthews was an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California from 2000 to 2004 and at the National Center for Youth Law from 1998 to 2000 and from 1991 to 1995. She was director of the Family Advocacy Program at Stanford Law School from 1996 to 1998, a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law from 1995 to 1996 and an attorney at Legal Services for Children from 1990 to 1991. Matthews served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Harry A. Blackmun at the U.S. Supreme Court from 1989 to 1990, for the Honorable Judge Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit from 1988 to 1989 and for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California from 1987 to 1988. Matthews earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Matthews is a Democrat.

Victor G. Viramontes, 44, of Whittier, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has been national senior counsel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund since 2010, where he was a staff attorney from 2001 to 2005. He was senior trial attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2008 to 2010, where he was a trial attorney from 2005 to 2008. Viramontes was an associate at Heller Ehrman White and McAuliffe from 2000 to 2001. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. Viramontes fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Ralph W. Dau. He is a Democrat.

Kerry L. White, 60, of Pasadena, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has served as a head deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office since 2003, where he was a deputy district attorney from 1984 to 2003. He served as chief prosecutor at the Pasadena City Prosecutor's Office in 2001. White earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joanne B. O'Donnell. White is a Democrat.

Amy C. Yerkey, 43, of Long Beach, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She has served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2015. She served as an administrative law judge at the U.S. Social Security Administration in 2015 and at the California Office of Administrative Hearings from 2008 to 2015. Yerkey was an attorney at U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2006 to 2008 and an associate at Jackson Lewis LLP in 2006. She served as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York from 2002 to 2005 and was an associate at Piper Rudnick LLP in 2001. Yerkey served as a law clerk for the Honorable Peter P. Olszewski Sr. at the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2001 and was an associate at Kaye Scholer from 1999 to 2000. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the St. John's University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Binghamton University. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 9, 2016. Yerkey is a Democrat.

Marin County Superior Court

Beth S. Jordan, 62, of San Rafael, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Marin County Superior Court. Jordan has been a partner at Greene Jordan Taubman and Dias LLP since 2010. She was a partner at Greene and Jordan from 2003 to 2010 and a sole practitioner from 2000 to 2003. Jordan was a partner at Landels Ripley and Diamond LLP from 1991 to 2000, where she was an associate from 1989 to 1991, and an associate at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran and Arnold from 1985 to 1989. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Terrence R. Boren. Jordan is a Democrat.

Mendocino County Superior Court

Carly B. Dolan, 44, of Ukiah, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Mendocino County Superior Court. She has served as assistant public defender at the Mendocino County Public Defender's Office since 2013, where she was a deputy public defender from 2001 to 2013. Dolan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard J. Henderson. Dolan is a Democrat.

Merced County Superior Court

Jeanne E. Schechter, 54, of La Grange, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Merced County Superior Court. She has served as a commissioner at the Merced County Superior Court since 2012. She served as chief deputy city attorney at the Merced City Attorney's Office from 2004 to 2012 and as senior deputy district attorney at the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office from 1991 to 2004. Schechter was a sole practitioner from 1990 to 1991. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Marc A. Garcia. Schechter is a Republican.

Orange County Superior Court

Scott B. Cooper, 48, of Irvine, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Orange County Superior Court. He has been managing attorney at the Cooper Law Firm since 2007. He was a partner at Cooper, Jones and Cooper LLP from 2003 to 2006 and an associate at Cooper and Jones LLP from 1999 to 2003 and at Latham and Watkins LLP from 1995 to 1999. Cooper served as a law clerk for the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1994 to 1995. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Carla M. Singer. Cooper is registered without party preference.

Andre De La Cruz, 42, of Fullerton, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Orange County Superior Court. De La Cruz has been of counsel at Troutman Sanders LLP since 2016. He was a senior associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton LLP from 2013 to 2016 and at Dickstein Shapiro LLP from 2012 to 2013. De La Cruz was director of intellectual property rights management at the Western Digital Corporation from 2011 to 2012, a managing associate at Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP from 2008 to 2011 and an associate at McDermott Will and Emery LLP from 2006 to 2008. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1993 to 1996. De La Cruz earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of La Verne. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Frederick P. Horn. De La Cruz is registered without party preference.

Katherine E. Lewis, 47, of Huntington Beach, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Orange County Superior Court. Lewis has served as a commissioner at the Orange County Superior Court since 2016. She served as a deputy public defender at the Orange County Public Defender's Office from 1996 to 2016. Lewis earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Clay M. Smith. Lewis is a Democrat.

Riverside County Superior Court

Godofredo (O.G.) Magno, 47, of Riverside, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court. He has served as a supervising deputy public defender and unit lead attorney at the Riverside County Public Defender's Office since 2014, where he served as a deputy public defender from 1998 to 2014. Magno earned a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michele D. Levine. Magno is a Democrat.

Randall S. Stamen, 50, of Riverside, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court. He has been a sole practitioner since 1994. He was an associate at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Miller in 1994 and at Reid and Hellyer from 1992 to 1994. Stamen earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. He fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Richard T. Fields to the Court of Appeal. Stamen is a Republican.

San Bernardino County Superior Court

Michael A. Camber, 57, of Brea, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. He has served as a chief deputy public defender at the San Bernardino County Public Defender's Office since 2013, where he was supervising deputy public defender from 2006 to 2013. He served as senior deputy alternate defender at the Orange County Alternate Defender's Office from 2003 to 2006, where he was a deputy alternate defender from 1996 to 2003. Camber was a sole practitioner from 1990 to 1996, an associate at Hill Genson Even Crandall and Wade from 1989 to 1990 and a deputy public defender at the Orange County Public Defender's Office from 1986 to 1989. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, San Bernardino, a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara A. Buchholz. Camber is a Democrat.

Michelle H. Gilleece, 47, of Riverside, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. She has been a partner at Friedman and Gilleece since 2004. She was a partner at the Law Offices of Gilleece Pico and Stockdale from 2012 to 2013, an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne, College of Law in 2011 and an assistant to the mayor in the Riverside Mayor's Office from 2003 to 2004. Gilleece was assistant director at the International Place of the Claremont Colleges from 2000 to 2001 and an associate at Platt and Buescher from 1996 to 2000. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College. She fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Brian Saunders. Gilleece is a Democrat.

San Diego County Superior Court

Edlene C. McKenzie, 56, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court. She has served as a commissioner at the San Diego County Superior Court since 2005. She was a Dispute Settlement Board administrator at DeMars and Associates and a member of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians Independent Gaming Review Board and Torts Claim Review Board from 1998 to 2005. McKenzie was a sole practitioner from 1987 to 2005 and an associate at Archer and Koliwer from 1986 to 1987. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. McKenzie fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Charles Ervin. She is registered without party preference.

James E. Simmons Jr., 37, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court. He has served as a deputy district attorney at the San Diego District Attorney's Office since 2006. He served as a deputy city attorney at the San Diego City Attorney's Office from 2005 to 2006. Simmons earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David M. Szumowski. Simmons is a Democrat.

San Francisco County Superior Court

Teresa M. Caffese, 57, of San Francisco, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Caffese has been a sole practitioner since 2011. She served in several positions at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office from 1987 to 2011, including chief attorney, chief of investigations and assistant deputy public defender, and was a sole practitioner from 2001 to 2003. Caffese was an associate at Laughlin Falbo Levy and Moresi from 1986 to 1987. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James P. Collins. Caffese is a Democrat.

Eric R. Fleming, 51, of Redwood City, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Francisco County Superior Court. He has served as managing attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office since 2012, where he was an assistant district attorney from 2004 to 2012. He was an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law from 2009 to 2011 and served as a deputy district attorney at the Tulare County District Attorney's Office from 2003 to 2004. Fleming was an editor's assistant at Yomiuri Shimbun from 2000 to 2003 and an associate at Cooley Godward from 1995 to 1999. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donald J. Sullivan. Fleming is a Democrat.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court

Hernaldo J. Baltodano, 41, of San Luis Obispo, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. He has been a partner at Baltodano and Baltodano LLP since 2011. He was a senior associate at Sanchez and Amador LLP from 2010 to 2011, at Anderson McPharlin and Conners LLP in 2010 and at Robins Kaplan Miller and Ciresi from 2006 to 2009. Baltodano was an associate at Holguin and Garfield from 2005 to 2006, at the Law Office of David A. Mallen from 2004 to 2005 and at Hadsell and Stormer Inc. from 2003 to 2004. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael L. Duffy. Baltodano is a Democrat.

Jesse J. Marino, 46, of San Luis Obispo, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. He has served as a deputy district attorney at the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office since 2004. He was an associate at Ogden and Fricks LLP in 2003. Marino served as a deputy district attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney's Office from 1999 to 2002 and as a law clerk for the Honorable A. Andrew Hauk at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1997 to 1998. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Marino fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jac A. Crawford. Marino is a Democrat.

San Mateo County Superior Court

Nancy L. Fineman, 57, of Burlingame, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Mateo County Superior Court. She has been a partner at Cotchett Pitre and McCarthy LLP since 1996, where she was an associate from 1989 to 1996. She served as a research attorney at the San Mateo County Superior Court from 1992 to 1993 and was an associate at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran and Arnold from 1986 to 1989. Fineman earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joseph E. Bergeron. Fineman is a Democrat.

Santa Clara County Superior Court

Nahal Iravani-Sani, 48, of San Jose, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Iravani-Sani has served as a deputy district attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office since 1995. She has been an instructor at the Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy Clinic since 2013 and was a lecturer in law at the Santa Clara University School of Law's Trial Techniques course from 2006 to 2013. Iravani-Sani is a member of the Iranian American Bar Association Board of Advisors and the Pars Equality Center Advisory Board. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard J. Loftus. Iravani-Sani is the first Iranian-American judge ever appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Iravani-Sani is a Democrat.

Sonoma County Superior Court

Jennifer V. Dollard, 50, of Santa Rosa, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Sonoma County Superior Court. She has served as a commissioner at the Sonoma County Superior Court since 2014. She served as a commissioner at the Shasta County Superior Court from 2007 to 2014, where she served as a research attorney from 1999 to 2007. Dollard served as a deputy district attorney at the Shasta County District Attorney's Office from 1998 to 1999 and as an assistant staff judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force from 1994 to 1998. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary A. Medvigy. Dollard is registered without party preference.

Stanislaus County Superior Court

Stacy P. Speiller, 37, of Oakdale, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Stanislaus County Superior Court. She has been a partner at Cash-Dudley Speiller and Torres since 2010. She was an associate at E.F. Cash-Dudley from 2004 to 2009. Speiller earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Nan C. Jacobs. Speiller is a Democrat.

Tulare County Superior Court

Robin L. Wolfe, 48, of Visalia, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Tulare County Superior Court. She has served as a deputy district attorney at the Kern County District Attorney's Office since 2005. She served as a deputy public defender at the Tulare County Public Defender's Office from 1995 to 2005. Wolfe earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fresno. She fills the vacancy created by the separation of Judge Valeriano Saucedo from the court. Wolfe is a Democrat.

Ventura County Superior Court

JoAnn Johnson, 59, of Lancaster, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Ventura County Superior Court. She has served as a commissioner at the Ventura County Superior Court since 2010, where she was a supervising court attorney from 2002 to 2010. She has been an adjunct law professor at the Ventura College of Law since 2003. Johnson was a sole practitioner from 1993 to 2001. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Ventura College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donald D. Coleman. Johnson is registered without party preference.

The compensation for each of these positions is $200,042.

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