California Governor Announces Judicial Appointments

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom announced his nomination of Judge Maurice Sanchez as Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three.  The Governor also announced his appointment of 11 Superior Court Judges, which include one in Butte County; one in Contra Costa County; one in El Dorado County; one in Fresno County; one in Kern County; one in Los Angeles County; two in San Diego County; one in Santa Clara County; one in Solano County; and one in Sonoma County.

Fourth District Court of Appeal

Judge Maurice Sanchez, 65, of Coto de Caza, has been nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three. He has served as a Judge of the Orange County Superior Court since 2018.  Judge Sanchez was a Partner at Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough from 2017 to 2018 and at Baker and Hostetler from 2005 to 2017.  He was a Shareholder at Alvarado, Smith and Sanchez from 1993 to 2005 and Managing Counsel at Mazda Motor of America Inc. from 1991 to 1993. Judge Sanchez was Senior Counsel at Hyundai Motor America from 1986 to 1991 and an Associate at Rutan and Tucker from 1981 to 1986.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Raymond J. Ikola.  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 Manuel A. Ramirez. Judge Sanchez is registered without party preference.

The compensation for this position is $256,138.

Butte County Superior Court

Philip H. Heithecker, 56, of Chico, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Butte County Superior Court.  Heithecker has been a Sole Practitioner since 2018.  He was a Partner at Washington and Heithecker from 1996 to 2018, an Associate at Hermansen, Berglund and Washington from 1995 to 1996 and a Deputy District Attorney at the Butte County District Attorney’s Office from 1992 to 1995.  Heithecker 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 Robert A. Glusman.  Heithecker is registered without party preference.

Contra Costa County Superior Court

H. Glenn Kim, 44, of Walnut Creek, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Kim has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office since 2011.  He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2010.  Kim earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Linda C. Lye.  Kim is a Democrat.

El Dorado County Superior Court

Lauren C. Bowers, 42, of Rancho Cordova, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the El Dorado County Superior Court.  Bowers has served as a Deputy County Counsel at the El Dorado County Counsel’s Office since 2013.  She was an Associate at the Law Office of Dale S. Wilson from 2005 to 2013 and an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law from 2007 to 2009.  Bowers 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 Warren C. Stracener.  Bowers is a Democrat.

Fresno County Superior Court

Irene A. Luna, 41, of Fresno, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court.  Luna has held several positions at Fitzgerald, Ciummo & Associates APC since 2014, serving as Assistant Chief Defense Attorney in the San Benito Office since 2021 and as Assistant Chief Defense Attorney for the Alternate Defense Office in Fresno from 2018 to 2021.  She was an Associate at Carty Law Office from 2013 to 2014, Junior Partner at Ramirez & Ramirez Law Offices from 2011 to 2013, Extra-Help Defense Attorney at the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office from 2011 to 2012 and an Associate at Hernandez & Ramirez Law Offices from 2007 to 2011.  Luna earned a Juris Doctor degree from the San Joaquin College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge W. Kent Hamlin.  Luna is a Democrat.

Kern County Superior Court

Andrew B. Kendall, 43, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Kern County Superior Court.  Kendall has served as a Commissioner for the Kern County Superior Court since 2018.  He served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Kern County Public Defender’s Office from 2009 to 2018.  Kendall was an Associate at Proskauer Rose LLP from 2007 to 2009 and at Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP from 2003 to 2007.  He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John S. Somers. Kendall is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Josh R. Freeman Stinn, 48, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Stinn has been Senior Counsel at Loeb & Loeb LLP since 2019, where he has held several positions since 2006. He was External Campaign Manager at Kaufman Campaign Consultants in 2006 and an Independent Contractor with TBWB Strategies in 2005.  Stinn served as Deputy Director of Advance in the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 2001 to 2002. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Gonzaga University School of Law.  Stinn fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Lori A. Fournier. He is a Democrat.

San Diego County Superior Court

Mark T. Cumba, 48, of San Diego, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court. Cumba has been a Supervising Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General since 2020, where he has served as a Deputy Attorney General since 2012.  He was an Adjunct Professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law from 2014 to 2019 and Senior Counsel at Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC from 2009 to 2012.  Cumba was a Senior Associate at Wilson, Petty, Kosmo & Turner LLP from 2006 to 2009, at Morris Polich & Purdy LLP from 2003 to 2006 and at Johnson & Bell Ltd. from 2001 to 2002.  He served as an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois from 1998 to 2001.  Cumba earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Charles G. Rogers.  Cumba is registered without party preference.

Michael P. Pulos, 42, of San Diego, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Diego County Superior Court.  Pulos has been a Supervising Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General since 2018, where he has served as a Deputy Attorney General since 2012.  He was a Legal Adviser to the Honorable Charles N. Brower at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal from 2010 to 2012, an Associate at Latham & Watkins LLP from 2008 to 2010 and Law Clerk for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit in 2007.  Pulos earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Randa M. Trapp.  Pulos is registered without party preference.

Santa Clara County Superior Court

Hanley Chew, 51, of Mountain View, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Chew has been Of Counsel at Fenwick & West LLP since 2016.  He was Vice President at Stroz Friedberg from 2015 to 2016 and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California from 2005 to 2015.  Chew was Senior Litigation Associate at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue from 2004 to 2005 and served as an Assistant U.S.  Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 2002 to 2004.  He was an Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati from 1999 to 2001 and 1996 to 1998, at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass from 1998 to 1999 and at LeBouef Lamb Greene & MacRae LLP from 1995 to 1996.  Chew earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark H. Pierce. Chew is a Democrat.

Solano County Superior Court

Christine N. Donovan, 44, of Fairfield, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Solano County Superior Court. Donovan has served as a Commissioner at the Contra Costa County Superior Court since 2019.  She served as a Senior Research Attorney at the Solano County Superior Court from 2007 to 2019 and was an Associate at Bartholomew, Wasznicky & Molinaro LLP from 2003 to 2007.  Donovan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael Mattice.  Donovan is registered without party preference.

Sonoma County Superior Court

Karlene M. Navarro, 45, of Petaluma, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sonoma County Superior Court. Navarro has served as Director of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach for the County of Sonoma since 2019.  She was a Sole Practitioner from 2014 to 2019, serving as an Appellate Attorney for the Sixth District Appellate Program and the First District Appellate Project from 2016 to 2019 and as an Attorney for the Sonoma County Conflicts Panel.  She was a Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2018.  Navarro served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Solano County Public Defender’s Office from 2010 to 2013, at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office from 2009 to 2010 and at the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office from 2007 to 2009.  Navarro earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Allan D. Hardcastle.  Navarro is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $223,829.