California Gets Six New Appeals Court Judges

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointments six new associate justices on California Courts of Appeal.

First District Court of Appeal

Alison M. Tucher, 55, of Berkeley, has been appointed associate justice, Division Four of the First District Court of Appeal. Tucher has been a judge at Alameda County Superior Court since 2014. She was a partner at Morrison and Foerster from 2004 to 2014, where she was a litigator from 1998 to 2004. She was a deputy district attorney at Santa Clara County from 1995 to 1998 and was assistant director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s White House Security Review Team from 1994 to 1995. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.A. from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. at Williams College. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Maria P. Rivera. All California Appeals Court judges require confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointment, consisting of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline. Tucher is a Democrat.

Second District Court of Appeal

Halim Dhanidina, 45, of Irvine, has been appointed associate justice, Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal. He has been a judge at Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2012, and was a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County from 1998 to 2012. He earned his J.D. from UCLA and his B.A. from Pomona College. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Richard D. Aldrich. If confirmed, he will be the first American-Muslim justice and the first South Asian American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal. Dhanidina is a Democrat.

Nora M. Manella, 67, of Los Angeles, has been appointed presiding justice, Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal, where she has been an associate justice since 2006. She was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1998 to 2006 and as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1994 to 1998. She was a judge at Los Angeles County Superior Court from 1992 to 1994 and at Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1990 to 1992, and was an assistant U.S. attorney at the Central District of California from 1982 to 1990. Manella was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution from 1976 to 1978. She earned her J.D. from USC and her B.A. from Wellesley College. Effective Aug. 22, she will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein. Manella is a Democrat.

Dorothy C. Kim, 45, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Five of the Second District Court of Appeal. Kim has been a judge at Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2014. She served in several positions at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California Criminal Division from 2001 to 2014, including deputy chief and assistant U.S. attorney. Kim earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her bachelor’s degree Cornell University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandy R. Kriegler. She will be the first Korean American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal if confirmed. Kim is a Democrat.

Maria E. Stratton, 65, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Eight of the Second District Court of Appeal. Stratton has been a judge at Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2006. She was federal public defender for the Central District of California from 1993 to 2006 and held several positions at Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle and Sadowsky from 1985 to 1993, including managing partner, partner and associate. She earned her J.D. from UC-Berkeley School and her B.A., from USC. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Madeleine I. Flier. Stratton is a Democrat.

Fourth District Court of Appeal

Michael J. Raphael, 50, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. He has been a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2012, and was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1999 to 2012. He was investigative counsel for U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman from 1997 to 1999 and was associate counsel at Sidley and Austin from 1994 to 1997. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Rice University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst. Raphael is a Democrat.

California appeals court judges are paid a salary of $228,918.

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