Gov. Brown Appoints 10 New California Judges

SACRAMENTO (CN) — Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed seven new judges to California superior courts, and three judges to California Courts of Appeal.

William Dato, of Poway, was appointed to Division One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Dato, 61, has been a San Diego County Superior Court judge since 2003. He was a partner with Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes and Leach from 1998 to 2003, and an associate there from 1994 to 1998 and from 1982 to 1984. His law degree is from UCLA School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James McIntyre.

Appellate Court judges must be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

Richard Fields, of Corona, was appointed to Division Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Fields, 57, has been a Riverside County Superior Court judge since 2000, was presiding judge there from 2007 to 2008, and a commissioner from 1991 to 2000. He served four years as a deputy public defender in Riverside County. His law degree is from the Western State University College of Law and he fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Jeffrey King.

Kathleen Meehan, of Fresno, was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal. Meehan, 61, has been a judge at Fresno County Superior Court since 2014, and was a commissioner there from 2011 to 2014. She was a deputy attorney general for California from 2008 to 2011, and was in private practice from 1985 until 2007. Her J.D. is from UC-Davis School of Law and she fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Dennis Cornell.

California appeals court judges are paid $219,272.

Kira Klatchko, of Palm Springs, was appointed to Riverside County Superior Court. Klatchko, 35, worked with Best, Best and Krieger from 2005 to 2015, when she moved to Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard and Smith as a partner and appellate practice vice chair. She earned her law degree at UC Davis and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Christian Thierbach.

Marco Nunez, of El Centro, was appointed to the Imperial County Superior Court. Nunez, 45, has been a deputy district attorney in Imperial County since 2006, and was a deputy public defender there for four years before that. He got his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raymond Cota.

Gus Correa Barrera II, of Stockton, was appointed to San Joaquin County Superior Court. Barrera, 47, has been a sole practitioner since 2011. He was a deputy district attorney in San Joaquin County from 1998 to 2005. His law degree is from Brigham Young University. He fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Franklin Stephenson.

Yvette Durant, of Truckee, was appointed to Nevada County Superior Court. Durant, 51, was a sole practitioner from 1999 to 2011 and has been a commissioner at Nevada County Superior Court since then. Her J.D. is from the University of Washington School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge John Kennelly.

Joann Bicego, of Yreka, was appointed to the Siskiyou County Superior Court, where she has been a commissioner since 2009, and was deputy county counsel since 2006, then acting assistant county counsel. Bicego, 53, earned her law degree at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donald Langford.

Elizabeth Peterson, of Portola Valley, was appointed to Santa Clara County Superior Court. Peterson, 45, has been a partner at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati since 2008. She was counsel at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld from 2007 to 2008, and an associate there from 1997 to 2002. She was an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Minnesota from 2002 to 2007. Her law degree is from the University of Michigan Law School and she fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Edward Davila.

David Ashby, of Yuba City, was appointed to Sutter County Superior Court. Ashby, 39, has run his own law firm since 2002. His J.D. is from UC-Berkeley and he fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Christopher Chandler.

California superior court judges are paid $191,612.

All the appointees to all courts are Democrats except Bicego and Ashby, who list no party preference. Gov. Brown announced the appointments on Friday.

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