Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, June 3, 2002


Page 3


Fresno Jurist Confirmed to Fill New Seat on Fifth District Court of Appeal


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Fresnoís Gene Gomes was confirmed and sworn in Friday as the newest member of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

Gov. Gray Davis nominated Gomes, 56, to fill a new seat on the court. Gomes had been a trial judge since 1980, when then-Gov. Jerry Brown named him the old Fresno Municipal Court, and was elevated to the Superior Court by Brown in 1982.

Confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments was unanimous. When considering Fifth District nominations, the commission consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and Fifth District Presiding Justice James Ardaiz.

Gomes has handled a broad array of cases as a jurist, but is best known for having presided over the felony master calendar for 11 years. A release from the governorís office when he was nominated last month said Gomes has sentenced more than 20,000 defendants to state prison.

The jurist also served in the Appellate Department for five years and has performed two stints at the Fifth District on assignment. He was handling both civil and criminal trials when he was tapped for elevation.

Among his trials was one of the longest in the countyís history, lasting six months and ending with guilty verdicts for seven defendants on more than 100 counts in July 2000. The defendants were members of a Fresno street gang charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, and pimping.

The Fresno native is a graduate of Fresno City College, California State University-Fresno, and McGeorge School of Law. He began his legal career as a Fresno deputy district attorney in 1972, rose to chief deputy within five years, then joined his father at the general practice law firm of Gomes, Gomes, Fiske & Berman before being appointed to the bench.

A frequent lecturer at judicial education programs, he serves on the Education Planning and Coordinating Committee of the California Judges Association and is a former chair of the CJA Criminal Law and Procedure Committee.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company