SACRAMENTO — Governor Jerry Brown on Friday announced the appointment of 12 California superior court judges: two each in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, and one each in Orange, Placer, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo County, Stanislaus and Ventura counties.
In L.A. Superior Court
Miguel T. Espinoza, 39, of Los Angeles, has been an Assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California since 2017. He was a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County 2008 to 2017 and worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign from 2007 to 2008, including statewide political director and deputy field director. He was a senior adviser for Antonio Villaraigosa’s mayoral campaign from 2004 to 2005 and deputy policy director for Villaraigosa’s City Council campaign from 2002 to 2003. He earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California, a master’s of public administration from Harvard University, his B.A. from USC- Santa Cruz. He fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Carl H. Moor to the Court of Appeal.
Alison M. Mackenzie, 42, of Los Angeles, has been a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner since 2017. She worked at Caldwell, Leslie and Proctor from 2007 to 2017, and clerked for U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson in the Central District of California from 2005 to 2006. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. from Stanford. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Helen Bendix to the Court of Appeal. She is a Democrat.
In Orange County Superior Court
Sheila O. Recio, 46, of Long Beach, has been a commissioner at Orange County Superior Court since 2016, and worked in several other positions there from 2005 to 2016, including deputy general counsel, senior research attorney and counsel to the presiding judge. She was an associate at Morrison and Foerster from 2000 to 2005 and a research attorney at L.A. Superior Court from 1998 to 2000. She earned her J.D. at USC and her B.A. at UCLA. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thierry Colaw. She is a Democrat.
In Placer County Superior Court
Todd D. Irby, 60, of Rocklin, received an interim appointment to the court where he has been a commissioner since 2017. He was deputy secretary and chief counsel at the California Department of Veterans Affairs from 2012 to 2017 and a deputy attorney general at the California Office of the Attorney General from 2007 to 2012. He was in private practice from 1991 to 2007. He earned his J.D. from the Pepperdine University School of Law and his B.A. from Ohio State. Irby was elected in June to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Frances A. Kearney. The appointment allows him to immediately assume the position he was otherwise elected to begin in January 2019. Irby is a Democrat.
In Riverside County Superior Court
Jennifer R. Gerard, 42, of Yorba Linda, has been a commissioner at Riverside County Superior Court since 2017. She was an attorney at the Riverside County Minors’ Counsel Panel and Adoption Panel from 2012 to 2017, a sole practitioner in family law and criminal defense from 2006 to 2017 and a deputy district attorney for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office from 2003 to 2006. She earned her J.D. from the Western State University College of Law and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chapman University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gloria Trask. She is a Democrat.