Brown Appoints 13 to Benches Across California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown filed 13 Superior Court judgeships Friday.

Appointees include the first Korean-American judge in Alameda County Superior Court, the first Sikh judge ever named to the Sacramento County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area.

Eumi K. Lee, 46, of San Francisco, has been appointed to a judgeship and is the first Korean-American judge ever appointed to Alameda County Superior Court. Lee is a clinical professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she has been since 2005. She earned her B.A. from Pomona College her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Alison M. Tucher to the First Appellate District.

Wendy McGuire Coats, 44, of Alamo, has been appointed to the Contra Costa County Superior Court. A partner at Fisher and Phillips LLP since 2016 and at McGuire Coats LLP from 2010 to 2016, Coats earned her B.S. from the University of Missouri and her law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barry P. Goode.

Joseph J. Burghardt, 46, of Manhattan Beach, has been appointed to a seat on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Burghardt has served as a deputy public defender at the Law Offices of the Los Angeles County Public Defender since 2000 and was a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. from 1997 to 2000. He eared undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford, and his law dgree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position this past October.

Also appointed in Los Angeles County Superior Court was Lisa S. Tamashiro Coen, 45, of Fullerton and Anne Hwang, 42, of View Park-Windsor Hills.

Coen has served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 2000. She was in private practice from 1999 to 2000 and an associate at Richards and Chemerinski from 1998 to 1999. Coen earned her BA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her law degree from Loyola Law School in LA. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position this past October.

Hwang has been chief deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Central District of California since 2018, and before that served as chief of the Los Angeles Trial Unit, supervising deputy federal public defender and deputy federal public defender. She was an associate at Irell and Manella LLP from 2002 to 2006. Hwang earned her B.A. from Cornell University and her law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. She also fills a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.

Johnnetta E. Anderson, 41, of Eastvale, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court. Anderson has served as a supervising deputy public defender at the Law Offices of the Riverside County Public Defender since 2016, where she has served as a deputy public defender since 2006. She earned her B.A. from California State University, San Bernardino, and her law degree from the California Western School of Law. She fills the vacancy of a new position created this past July.

Joginder Dhillon, 57, of Sacramento, and Peter K. Southworth, 53, of Latrobe, were appointed to judgeships in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Dhillon has served as a senior adviser to Gov. Brown since 2013 and is the first Sikh judge ever appointed in Sacramento County. He earned his B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982 and served in the Air Force for 20 years and was the legal adviser to U.S. Space Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command. Dhillon served as chief counsel for the California Gambling Control Commission from 2009 to 2013 and as general counsel for the California Emergency Management Agency from 2007 to 2009. Dhillon earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Laws degree in intellectual property law from the University of Houston Law Center. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raymond M. Cadei.

Southworth has served as chief deputy legal affairs secretary for Gov. Brown since 2014. He served as deputy secretary and general counsel at the California State Transportation Agency from 2013 to 2014. Southworth served in several positions at the state attorney general’s office from 1997 to 2013, including supervising deputy attorney general in the Government Law Section and deputy attorney general in the Land Law Section and in the Government Law Section. He was an associate at Downey, Brand, Seymour and Rohwer from 1993 to 1997. He earned his B.A. from Haverford College and his law degree from Columbia Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Marjorie K. Durenberger.

Wendy M. Behan, 46, Laura H. Miller, 50, and Rohanee Zapanta, 42, all of San Diego, were appointed to judgeships in San Diego County Superior Court.

Behan has been a partner at Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt and Penfield LLP since 2010, where she was an associate from 1999 to 2010. Behan earned her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara and her law degree from the California Western School of Law. She was president of California Women Lawyers from 2014 to 2015 and of the Lawyers Club of San Diego from 2010 to 2011. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joan M. Lewis.

Miller has been a sole practitioner since 2005. She was a partner at Olins, Hayes and Miller from 2003 to 2005 and an associate at Olins, Foerster and Hayes from 1994 to 2003. She earned her B.S. from CSU Chico and her law degree from Western State University, College of Law. Miller is a certified family law specialist and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position this past June.

Zapanta has served as a deputy public defender at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. She was an associate at the Law Offices of Bay Bulaon in 2005 and at the Price Law Group from 2003 to 2004. She earned her B.A. from the University of San Diego and her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Judith F. Hayes.

Audra Ibarra, 49, of Palo Alto, has been appointed to a judgeship and is the first Filipino-American ever appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area. Ibarra has been counsel at California Appellate Law Group since 2012 and a sole practitioner since 2010. Ibarra served as the deputy chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California from 2005 to 2006, and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2006. She is a member of the California Judicial Council. Ibarra earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her law degree from New York University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Mary J. Greenwood to the Sixth Appellate District.

In Solano County Superior Court, Stephanie G. Jones, 39, of Vallejo, has been appointed to a judgeship. Jones served as a deputy public defender at the Solano County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. She earned her B.S. from USC and her law degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Cynda R. Unger.

Each position receives a $207,424 compensation.

 

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