California Governor Announces Judicial Appointments

California Governor Newsom Announces Judicial Appointments

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of 17 Superior Court Judges, which include two in Fresno County; five in Los Angeles County; one in Merced County; three in Orange County; one in San Benito County; three in San Diego County; one in San Francisco County; and one in Ventura County.

Fresno County Superior Court

Stephanie L. Negin, 40, of Clovis, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court.  Negin has served as a Senior Defense Attorney at the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office since 2007.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.  Negin fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Debra J. Kazanjian.  She is a Democrat.

Virna L. Santos, 56, of Fresno, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court.  Santos has been a Sole Practitioner since 2014.  She served as Regional Director for Judicial Studies and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training from 2011 to 2014 and was a Senior Legal Advisor detailed to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia from 2007 to 2011.  Santos served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California from 1995 to 2007 and as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Gilberto Gierbolini at the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 1995.  She served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1990 to 1993.  Santos earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary D. Hoff. Santos is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Nicholas F. Daum, 47, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Daum has been a Partner and Associate at Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP since 2009.  He was an Associate at Susman Godfrey LLP from 2004 to 2009 and served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Daum earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Anthony J. Mohr.  Daum is a Democrat.

Mark A. Davis, 57, of Pasadena, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Davis has been a Sole Practitioner since 2003.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.  Davis fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary J. Ferrari.  He is a Democrat.

Dean J. Kitchens, 69, of Pasadena, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Kitchens has been a Partner at Gibson Dunn since 1986 and has served in several positions there since 1978, including General Counsel and Associate.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif.  Kitchens fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Clifford L. Klein.  He is a Democrat.

Tiana J. Murillo, 42, of Pasadena, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Murillo has served as Assistant County Counsel at the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office since 2021, where she has held several positions, including as Assistant County Counsel in 2019, Senior Deputy County Counsel in 2017 and Deputy County Counsel from 2014 to 2017.  She served as Assistant Chief Executive Officer in the Los Angeles County Chief Executive’s Office from 2019 to 2021 and as Chief of Staff at the Los Angeles County Probation Department from 2018 to 2019.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School.  Murillo fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Norman P. Tarle.  She is a Democrat.

Bradley S. Phillips, 68, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Phillips has been a Partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP since 1984 and was an Associate there from 1979 to 1983.  He served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable William Matthew Byrne, Jr. at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California from 1978 to 1979.  Phillips earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John A. Torribio.  He is a Democrat.

Merced County Superior Court

Jennifer O. Trimble, 46, of Turlock, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Merced County Superior Court. Trimble has served as Chief Deputy County Counsel at the Office of the Merced County Counsel since 2018.  She was an Associate at Perry & Associates in 2018 and an Attorney at Dependency Legal Services from 2013 to 2018.  Trimble was an Attorney at Trimble & Trimble, Attorneys at Law from 2002 to 2013.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.  Trimble fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeanne E. Schechter.  She is registered without party preference.

Orange County Superior Court

Adrianne E. Marshack, 44, of Irvine, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Marshack has been a Partner at Goodwin Procter LLP since 2021. She was a Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP from 2016 to 2021 and was an Associate there from 2009 to 2014.  She was Counsel at Greenberg Gross LLP from 2015 to 2016 and Partner at Katz Yoon LLP from 2014 to 2015.  Marshack was an Associate at Hodel Briggs Winter LLP from 2008 to 2009 and at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2007 to 2008.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.  Marshack fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Sheila Fell.  She is a Democrat.

Yolanda V. Torres, 48, of Huntington Beach, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court.  Torres has been a Sole Practitioner since 2008. She was an Adjunct Professor at the Western State University College of Law from 2017 to 2021.  Torres was an Associate at the Law Office of Patrick A. McCall from 2003 to 2008, at Hughes & Sullivan from 2002 to 2003 and at Alexandra Leichter Law Offices in 2002.  She was a Law Clerk at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2002.  Torres 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 Mark Millard.  Torres is registered without party preference.

Fernando Valle, 44, of Santa Ana, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court.  Valle has been a Senior Deputy Public Defender at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office since 2021, where he has served in several roles since 2004.  He was an Intern at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office from 2003 to 2004. Valle earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary L. Moorhead.  Valle is a Democrat.

San Benito County Superior Court

Patrick K. Palacios, 57, of Hollister, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Benito County Superior Court. Palacios has served as a Commissioner of the San Benito County Superior Court since 2020.  He was a Sole Practitioner from 2015 to 2020 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2014.  He was an Associate at the Law Offices of John E. Skeath from 2003 to 2007 and a Sole Practitioner from 1994 to 2003.  Palacios was an Attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1991 to 1994 and an Associate at Rosenblum, Parish & Isaacs from 1989 to 1991.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.  Palacios fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Steven R. Sanders.  He is a Democrat.

San Diego County Superior Court

Nadia J. Keilani, 49, of San Diego, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court. Keilani has been a Commissioner of the San Diego County Superior Court since 2019 and served as a Staff Attorney there from 1999 to 2019.  She served as an Attorney at the San Diego County Office of the Alternate Public Defender in 1999 and as a Sole Practitioner from 1998 to 1999.  Keilani earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roger W. Krauel.  Keilani is a Democrat.

Sherry M. Thompson-Taylor, 57, of Chula Vista, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court.  Thompson-Taylor has been a Deputy District Attorney at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office since 1995, where she has served in several positions, including Division Chief, Assistant Chief and Team Leader.  She was Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Angelic Entertainment from 1999 to 2000.  Thompson-Taylor earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Margie G. Woods. Thompson-Taylor is a Democrat.

Leonard N. Trinh, 41, of San Diego, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court. Trinh has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office since 2006.  He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2005.  Trinh earned a Juris Doctor degree from the California Western School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Timothy M. Casserly. He is a Democrat.

San Francisco County Superior Court

Patrick S. Thompson, 54, of San Francisco, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Thompson has been a Partner at Perkins Coie LLP since 2015.  He was a Partner at Goodwin Procter LLP from 2005 to 2015.  Thompson was an Associate and Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP from 1992 to 2005.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.  Thompson fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Newton J. Lam.  He is registered without party preference.

Ventura County Superior Court

Kristi J. Peariso, 48, of Camarillo, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Ventura County Superior Court. Peariso has served as a Commissioner of the Ventura County Superior Court since 2022 and has been a Sole Practitioner since 2007.  She was a Law Professor at the Southern California Institute of Law from 2008 to 2017.  Peariso served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office from 2000 to 2007, at the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office in 2000 and at the Mendocino County Public Defender’s Office from 1998 to 2000.  She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the California Western School of Law.  Peariso fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kevin J. McGee.  She is a Democrat.

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