Brown Picks Six for Benches Across California

(CN) – Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown filled six vacancies in superior courts across the state Friday.

Alameda County

Patrick R. McKinney II, 45, of Oakland, was appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court after serving as assistant secretary for legal affairs and chief counsel at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2015. Before that, McKinney worked in the state attorney general’s office and was special counsel for litigation at Farella, Braun and Martel LLP from 2009 to 2011. He did his undergraduate work at UCLA and got his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffrey W. Horner.

Los Angeles County

James E. Blancarte, 65, of Burbank and Timothy R. Martella, 70, of Pasadena have been appointed to the LA County Superior Court.

Blancarte has served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2016. A partner and later of counsel at Alvarado Smith between 2009 and 2016, Blancarte was also a partner at Carlsmith Ball LLP from 2004 to 2008 and managing partner of the Law Offices of James E. Blancarte from 1993 to 2004. He earned his B.A. from Pomona College and his law degree from UCLA School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position this past October.

Martella has served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2015. He served as a Board of Rights hearing examiner at the Los Angeles Police Department Police Commission and director at Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Law Office of Timothy Martella from 2006 to 2015, and was a sole practitioner from 1981 to 2006. He earned his law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position this past month.

Riverside County

Cheryl C. Murphy, 56, of Rancho Cucamonga, and Samah Shouka, 46, of Orange, were appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court.

Murphy has been a sole practitioner since 1999, was an associate at the Rancho Law Center and at the Law Offices of Tuckerman and Thompson. Murphy earned a B.S. from California State University, San Diego, and her law degree from the Western State University College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffrey Prevost.

Shouka has served as senior deputy district attorney for Riverside County since 2013, and has been with the office since 2003. Shouka earned her undergraduate degree in education from the College of New Jersey and her law degree from Whittier Law School. She fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Victoria E. Cameron.

Sacramento County

Kristina B. Lindquist, 37, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court after serving as a deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2011.

Lindquist has served as staff counsel at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and as tax counsel at the State Board of Equalization. Lindquist earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Timothy M. Frawley.

The compensation for each of these positions is $207,424. 

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