(CN) – In a raft of recent appointments to various California courts, Gov. Jerry Brown named eight attorneys to Los Angeles judgeships and the first Latino to a court in San Jose.
Of eight Los Angeles appointees, all Democrats, one is a U.S. attorney and the others have served as defense attorneys or prosecutors.
Deputy District Attorney Halim Dhanidina, 39, is the first Muslim American to be appointed judge in the state of California, according to the governor’s office and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Dhanidina earned his law degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds a bachelor’s from Pomona College.
A deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County since 1998, Dhanidina would fill a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Debra Cole, 50, from Long Beach previously worked as a trial deputy in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office between 1988 and 1994, and then at the Los Angeles Alternative Public Defender’s Office.
Cole graduated from Loyola Law School Los Angeles and also attended UCLA as an undergrad.
She fills a vacancy left by retired Judge Andrew Kauffman, who moves to the Torrance Courthouse.
The remaining Los Angeles appointees include:
Peter Hernandez, 42, of Alhambra; Bruce Iwasaki, 61, of Los Angeles; H. Clay Jacke II, 53, of Los Angeles; Virginia Keeny, 50, of Los Angeles; David Walgren, 43, of Calabasas; and Jeffrey K. Winikow, 47, of Los Angeles.
Hernandez has been an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California since 1999.
Iwasaki’s professional experience dates back to a 1976 staff attorney position with the San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Service. He has been a partner with Lim Ruger and Kim since 2006.
Jacke has been a criminal defense attorney since 1983.
Keeny formerly clerked for 9th Circuit Judge William and has been a partner at Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson and Rennick since 2008.
Walgren has been a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County since 1996.
Winikow has been in solo practice since 1992 after three years with Mitchell Silberberg and Knupp.
Mendocino County Superior Court will also get two new judges: Jeanine Nadel, 57, and David Riemenschneider, 63, both of Ukiah.
Nadel has been county counsel for Mendocino County since 2005, while Riemenschneider has been in solo practice since 2003.
In Santa Clara County Superior Court, Brown appointed Allison Danner, 41, of Palo Alto, and Mary Greenwood, 55, of Menlo Park.
Danner, a former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California since 2007.
Greenwood comes to the court from the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office.
Contra Costa County Superior Court has one new addition: Judy Johnson, 63, of Rodeo. Between 2000 and 2011, Johnson served as the executive director of the State Bar of California from 2000 to 2011
Brown also appointed Julian Bailey, 63, of San Clemente, and Lewis Clapp, 57, of Anaheim, to judgeships in the Orange County Superior Court.
Bailey, who keeps his political party affiliation private, has served as a referee for the court since 2011.
Clapp, a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, has spent the last year as director of the Orange County Associate Defender’s Office.
Each superior court judgeship has a salary of $178,789.
Brown’s appellate court appointments require confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Conrad Lee Rushing.
In the Sixth District Court of Appeal, Brown appointed Miguel Marquez, 45, of San Jose.
Subject to his confirmation, Marquez will be the first Latino to serve on the Sixth District Court of Appeal.
Marquez, a Democrat, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and has a master’s in public policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s from Stanford University.
Currently in his third year as county counsel for Santa Clara County, Marquez’s judicial appointment would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Richard McAdams.
Brown also named former Morrison and Foerster associate David Thompson to the division three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
Thompson, 55, of Costa Mesa, used to work for the court as a staff attorney and has served as a judge for the Orange County Superior Court since 1998. His party affiliation is also private.
Both appellate court positions come with a salary of $204,599.