Governor Newsom Announces Judicial Appointments 7.9.21

Lisa D. Small

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his nomination of four Court of Appeal Justices: Justice Alison M. Tucher as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three; Justice Teri L. Jackson as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Five; Judge Cynthia C. Lie […]

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his nomination of four Court of Appeal Justices: Justice Alison M. Tucher as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three; Justice Teri L. Jackson as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Five; Judge Cynthia C. Lie as an Associate Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal; and Judge Charles E. Wilson II as an Associate Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal.

The Governor also announced his appointment of 19 Superior Court Judges, which include two in Alameda County; one in Fresno County; two in Kern County; two in Los Angeles County; one in Orange County; one in Riverside County; two in Sacramento County; two in San Bernardino County; one in San Diego County; one in San Francisco County; three in San Mateo County; and one in Santa Cruz County.

First District Court of Appeal

Justice Alison M. Tucher, 58, of Berkeley, has been nominated to serve as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three. She has served as an Associate Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four since 2018. Justice Tucher served as a Judge at the Alameda County Superior Court from 2014 to 2018. She was a Partner at Morrison and Foerster from 2004 to 2014 and a Litigation Associate there from 1998 to 2003. She served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office from 1995 to 1998 and was Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s White House Security Review Team from 1994 to 1995. Justice Tucher served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable David H. Souter at the U.S. Supreme Court and for the Honorable William A. Norris at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School and a Master of Arts degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge. Justice Tucher fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Peter J. Siggins. 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 J. Anthony Kline. Justice Tucher is a Democrat.

Justice Teri L. Jackson, 64, of San Mateo, has been nominated to serve as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Five. She has served as an Associate Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three since 2019. Justice Jackson served as a Judge at the San Francisco County Superior Court from 2002 to 2019. She was Of Counsel at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP from 1997 to 2002 and served as an Assistant District Attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office from 1984 to 1997. She served as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office from 1981 to 1984. Justice Jackson was an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law from 2006 to 2019 and at the University of San Francisco School of Law from 2004 to 2019. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Justice Jackson fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Barbara J.R. Jones. 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 J. Anthony Kline. Justice Jackson is a Democrat.

Sixth District Court of Appeal

Judge Cynthia C. Lie, 53, of Oakland, has been nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal. She has served as a Judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court since 2015. Judge Lie served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender at the San Jose Branch of the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California from 2003 to 2014. She served as a Staff Attorney at the City and County of San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints from 2002 to 2003 and was a Sole Practitioner from 2001 to 2003. Judge Lie was a Litigation Associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton LLP in 2000 and served as a Deputy Public Defender at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office from 1995 to 2000. 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 Nathan D. Mihara. 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 Mary J. Greenwood. Judge Lie is registered without party preference.

Judge Charles E. Wilson II, 46, of East Palo Alto, has been nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal. He has served as a Judge at the Santa Clara County Superior Court since 2014. Judge Wilson served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2014. He was an Associate at Gordon and Rees LLP from 2003 to 2007 and at Phillips, Spallas and Angstadt in 2003. Judge Wilson earned Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of San Francisco. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Eugene M. Premo. 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 Mary J. Greenwood. Judge Wilson is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $245,578.

Alameda County Superior Court

Kelli M. Evans, 52, of Oakland, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Alameda County Superior Court. Evans has served as Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom since 2020, where she served as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary for Criminal Justice from 2019 to 2020. Evans served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General at the California Department of Justice from 2017 to 2019 and was Senior Director for the Administration of Justice at the California State Bar from 2014 to 2017. She was Associate Director of the ACLU of Northern California from 2010 to 2013, where she served as an Attorney from 1995 to 1998. She was a Partner at Independent Assessment & Monitoring LLP from 2006 to 2010 and an Associate at Relman and Associates from 2001 to 2004. Evans served as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 to 2001 and as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office in 1995. She has served as a member of federal court-appointed monitoring teams for the Oakland and Cleveland Police Departments. Evans earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas C. Rogers. Evans is a Democrat.

Stephanie K. Sato, 45, of Alameda, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Alameda County Superior Court. Sato has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board since 2021. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2014 to 2020. Sato was an Associate at the Law Offices of Peter G. Loewenstein from 2011 to 2014 and at Stonehouse & Silva from 2007 to 2011. She was a Contracts Associate at IT Ascent from 2006 to 2007. Sato earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Armando G. Cuellar. Sato is a Democrat.

Fresno County Superior Court

Leanne L. Le Mon, 45, of Fresno, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court. Le Mon has served as a Court Commissioner at the Fresno County Superior Court since 2014. She served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2008 to 2014 and as a Deputy District Attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office from 2003 to 2008. Le Mon was an Associate at McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte and Carruth from 2001 to 2003. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the creation of a new position on September 24, 2019. Le Mon is a Democrat.

Kern County Superior Court

Lisa M. Pacione, 41, of Lancaster, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Kern County Superior Court. Pacione has served as a Commissioner at the Kern County Superior Court since March 2021. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2002 to 2021. Pacione earned Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from the Pepperdine University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Louie L. Vega. Pacione is a Democrat.

Elizabet Rodriguez, 43, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Kern County Superior Court. Rodriguez has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Kern County Public Defender’s Office since 2016. She was a Senior Associate at Schools Legal Service in 2016 and served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Kern County Public Defender’s Office from 2013 to 2016. Rodriguez was an Associate at the Gonzalez Law Group from 2009 to 2013 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office from 2006 to 2009. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State University, College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John L. Fielder. Rodriguez is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Ian C. Fusselman, 53, of Pasadena, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Fusselman has been a Sole Practitioner since 2019 and a Mediator with ADR Services since 2018. He was a Litigator at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire from 2004 to 2018, rising to Partner in 2012. Fusselman was an Associate at Murchison & Cumming LLP from 2001 to 2004 and at Belcher Henzie & Biegenzahn from 1998 to 2001. He was a Lecturer of Law at the University of Southern California School of Law from 2019 to 2021. Fusselman earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 21, 2020. Fusselman is a Democrat.

Michelle L. Kazadi, 50, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Kazadi has served as an Administrative Law Judge at the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board since March 2021. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2003 to 2021 and a Certified Family Law Specialist. Kazadi was a Mediator at Peace Talks Mediation Services from 2007 to 2013. She was an Associate at Pryce Parker Hill LLP from 1999 to 2002. Kazadi has served as an Adjunct Professor at West Los Angeles College since 2008. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Louisville, School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara R. Johnson. Kazadi is a Democrat.

Orange County Superior Court

Eric J. Wersching, 44, of Ladera Ranch, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Wersching has been a Founding Partner at Ross Wersching & Wolcott LLP since 2006. He was an Associate at Payne & Fears LLP from 2004 to 2005 and served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Melvin T. Brunetti at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Wersching earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roger B. Robbins. Wersching is registered without party preference.

Riverside County Superior Court

Mark E. Singerton, 46, of Yorba Linda, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court. Singerton has served as Managing-Supervising Deputy District Attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office since 2008, where he has served as a Deputy District Attorney since 2001. Singerton earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School Los Angeles. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Singerton is registered without party preference.

Sacramento County Superior Court

David W. Bonilla, 50, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Bonilla has been a Sole Practitioner since 2013. He was a Partner and Attorney at Bonilla and Cintean LLP from 2010 to 2013 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office from 2005 to 2010. Bonilla 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 David I. Brown. Bonilla is registered without party preference.

Benjamin D. Galloway, 47, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Galloway has served as Chief Assistant Federal Defender at the Office of the Federal Defender, Eastern District of California since 2017 and served as an Assistant Federal Defender there from 2007 to 2017. He served as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office from 2006 to 2007 and was an Attorney at Topel & Goodman LLP from 2005 to 2006. Galloway served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office from 2001 to 2005. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Judy H. Hersher. Galloway is a Democrat.

San Bernardino County Superior Court

Aruna P. Rodrigo, 40, of Riverside, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Rodrigo has been a Sole Practitioner since 2010. He was Senior Attorney and Of Counsel at CKB Vienna LLP from 2015 to 2018 and served as a Volunteer Deputy District Attorney at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in 2015. Rodrigo was Managing Attorney at Macey & Aleman/Legal Helpers in 2010. He was an Associate at the Law Offices of Vincent B. Garcia & Associates from 2008 to 2010. Rodrigo earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne College of Law and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of La Verne. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raymond L. Haight. Rodrigo is a Democrat.

Kawika Smith, 61, of Redlands, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Smith has served as Supervising Deputy Public Defender at the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office since 2014, where he has served as a Deputy Public Defender since 1995. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State University, College of Law. Smith fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Keith D. Davis. He is a Democrat.

San Diego County Superior Court

Euketa L. Oliver, 46, of Chula Vista, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court. Oliver has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the San Diego County Office of the Primary Public Defender since 2005. She was a Staff Attorney at Legal Services Northern California in 2005. Oliver earned a Juris Doctor degree from Whittier Law School and a Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kenneth M. Kirkman. Oliver is a Democrat.

San Francisco County Superior Court

A. Marisa Chun, 56, of San Francisco, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Chun has been a Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP since 2019. She was a Partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP from 2013 to 2019. Chun served as a U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2009 to 2013. She was a Partner and Associate at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP from 1999 to 2009. Chun served as Senior Trial Attorney and Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division from 1992 to 1996 and as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert Boochever at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1991 to 1992. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Edward A. Torpoco. Chun is a Democrat.

San Mateo County Superior Court

Chinhayi C. Cadet, 49, of Redwood City, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Mateo County Superior Court. Cadet has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California since 2001. Cadet was an Associate at Swerdlow, Florence, Sanchez & Rathbun from 1999 to 2001 and at Hillsinger & Costanzo from 1998 to 1999. Cadet earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark R. Forcum. Cadet is a Democrat.

Kevin E. Dunleavy, 58, of Millbrae, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Mateo County Superior Court. Dunleavy has served as Chief Assistant District Attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office since 2009, where he has served in several positions since 1988, including Senior Deputy District Attorney. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Dunleavy fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Clifford V. Cretan. He is a Democrat.

Nicole S. Healy, 58, of Menlo Park, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Mateo County Superior Court. Healy has been a Partner of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley since 2013. She was Of Counsel at Bergeson LLP in 2013 and Of Counsel and Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC from 1998 to 2012. Healy served as a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division from 1992 to 1998. From 1991 to 1992, she was a member of the Attorney General’s Honors Program in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, during which time she served in several positions, including as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia and as an Attorney in the Appellate Section. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge George A. Miram. Healy is a Democrat.

Santa Cruz County Superior Court

Jerry Bustos Vinluan III, 49, of Santa Cruz, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Vinluan has served as a Deputy Public Defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff since 2006. He served as a Deputy Alternate Public Defender at Wallraff & Associates from 2004 to 2006. Vinluan was a Sole Practitioner from 2002 to 2004 and served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Madera County Public Defender’s Office from 2000 to 2001. Vinluan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kim E. Baskett. Vinluan is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $214,601.

 

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