California Gets 12 New Judges

SACRAMENTO (CN) — Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday announced the appointments of 10 new superior court judges and two judges on a state appeals court.

Four judges were appointed to Los Angeles County Superior Court:

Robert G. Chu, 38, of Valencia fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on March 1. Chu has been a deputy public defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 2006.

Maria Puente-Porras, 49, of Cypress fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William P. Barry. She has been a commissioner at L.A. Superior Court since 2015 and was a sole practitioner from 1998 to 2015.

Gary D. Roberts, 59, of Los Angeles fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael M. Johnson.

Roberts worked for Fox Entertainment Group from 1993 to 2017, including as executive vice president of Fox Group Legal and senior vice president and vice president of employment. He was an associate at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP from 1985 to 1993.

Emily S. Garcia Uhrig, 53, of Oakland fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge C. Edward Simpson. Garcia Uhrig has been a professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law since 2006. She was a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit from 2001 to 2006 and a deputy federal public defender in California’s Central District from 1997 to 2001.

In Orange County, Nhan T. Vu, 47, of Fullerton fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Thomas M. Goethals to the Court of Appeal. He has been a deputy attorney general for California since 2014. He was a partner at Willenken, Wilson, Loh and Delgado from 2006 to 2014 and an associate professor at the Chapman University School of Law from 2004 to 2006, where he was an assistant professor from 2001 to 2004.

In San Francisco County, Rita F. Lin, 40, of San Francisco, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ksenia Tsenin. Lin, a Democrat, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in San Francisco since 2014. She was a partner at Morrison and Foerster from 2012 to 2014, where she was an associate from 2004 to 2012.

In Santa Barbara County, Von T. Nguyen Deroian, 43, of Santa Barbara fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Rogelio R. Flores. Nguyen Deroian has been a commissioner at Santa Barbara County Superior Court since 2017, an adjunct professor at the Santa Barbara College of Law since 2013, and was a deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County 2006 to 2017.

In Santa Clara County, Evette D. Pennypacker, 47, of Sunnyvale fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mary Ann Grilli. Since 2007 she has been a partner at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart and Sullivan, where she was an associate from 2003 to 2007. She was an associate at Fenwick and West from 1999 to 2003.

In Sonoma County, Barbara Phelan, 57, of Glen Ellen fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raima H. Ballinger. She has been a staff attorney at the First District Court of Appeal since 2003, where she also worked from 1991 to 2001.

And in Calaveras County, David M. Sanders, 63, of Pioneer fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Grant V. Barrett. He has been a commissioner at Calaveras County Superior Court since 2015 and was a supervising attorney at Field and Sanders from 2009 to 2014 and at King Warwick and Sanders from 2002 to 2009.

All the new superior court judges are Democrats. They will earn $200,042 a year.

In the Fresno-based Fifth District Court of Appeal, Brown appointed Thomas DeSantos, 61, of Hanford, and Mark W. Snauffer, 64, of Fresno, both Democrats.

DeSantos, who fills the vacancy created by the death of Justice Gene M. Gomes, has been a judge at Kings County Superior Court since 2003. He was a sole practitioner from 1993 to 2003 and from 1984 to 1989.

Snauffer has been a judge at Fresno County Superior Court since 2000. He was a partner and shareholder at Baker, Manock and Jensen from 1982 to 2000.

Appeals court judges must be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. They earn $228,918 a year.

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