Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, March 28, 2003


Page 3


Governor Names Four to Central Valley Superior Courts


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis yesterday named two court commissioners and two practicing lawyers to fill vacancies on superior courts in two Central Valley counties.

San Joaquin Superior Court Commissioners Robin Appel and Cinda Sanchez Fox were tapped by the governor to become judges of that court, while Stanislaus Chief Deputy Public Defender Ricardo Cordova and civil practitioner Jack M. Jacobson were named to the Stanislaus Superior Court.

Appel, 48, is a former president of the San Joaquin County Bar Association. She has been presiding over a family law court since her appointment as a commissioner in 1995. She handles the full range of family law matters and also occasionally hears drug court and small claims cases.

From 1983 to 1995, she was an associate and partner with the Stockton law firm of Reece & Appel, where she handled a wide range of civil cases, including family law, business litigation, personal injury, and probate matters.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, and McGeorge Law School, she will fill the vacancy created by the removal of Judge Michael E. Platt from the bench.

Fox, 45, has been a court commissioner since 1997. She has handled arraignments, pleas, sentencing, pretrial conferences, preliminary hearings and trials in criminal cases; presided over the Drug Court, Domestic Violence Court, and small claims and traffic cases; and handled family law matters, adoptions and juvenile delinquency cases.

Before her appointment as a judicial officer, Commissioner Fox practiced law in San Joaquin County for 12 years. From 1985 to 1991, she did criminal defense work as a deputy public defender, then joined a Stockton firm where she primarily handled family law matters, but also did some personal injury, probate, business litigation and criminal defense work.

She was a sole practitioner, doing criminal defense work until she received the commissionerís appointment. After leaving the firm in 1994, she practiced criminal law on her own until she became a court commissioner.

She has also served on the boards of the county bar and of an organization that provides services to the Spanish-speaking community. Her undergraduate and law degrees are from UC Davis.

Fox will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas B. Teaford.

Cordova, 49, joined the Public Defenderís Office in 1995 after 16 years as a staff attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance.† He is a member and former president of the Modesto school board, on which he has served since 1996, and is active in community organizations.

A graduate of Loyola University, he holds a law degree from UC Davis and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Glenn A. Ritchey.

Jacobson, 49, is a member of the law firm of Curtis & Arata in Modesto, which he joined in 1993. For the past decade, he has specialized in the defense of tort cases, including motor vehicle, general liability, premises liability and product liability claims, and the defense of employment and discrimination cases.

Earlier in his career, he worked for the General Atomic Company and then for two other firms.† He has served as a Superior Court arbitrator and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois the University of San Diego Law School. Jacobson will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Terry K. Cole.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company