Monday, January 9, 2006
Siggins Confirmed to First District Court of Appeal
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former legal affairs secretary and interim chief of staff, Peter Siggins, was confirmed and sworn in Friday as a justice of the First District Court of Appeal.
Siggins will succeed Justice Carol Corrigan in Div. Three. Corrigan took office Wednesday as the newest justice of the California Supreme Court.
In addition to approving the nomination of Siggins, the Commission on Judicial Appointments Friday confirmed Schwarzenegger’s elevation of Justice Ignacio Ruvolo, who had been sitting in the First District’s Div. Two, to be presiding justice of Div. Four.
That post has been vacant since Presiding Justice Laurence Kay retired in August.
Siggins, 50, served as legal affairs secretary to the governor from November 2003 to November 2005 and as interim chief of staff for the last two months of that period, while Patricia Clarey, who has since left the post, was on leave working for the governor’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign to pass four initiative measures at a statewide special election.
His successor as legal affairs secretary was named three months ago, and sources said then that he would likely be appointed to a judgeship after the special election.
Before going to work for the Republican governor, Siggins—who is registered decline-to-state—was chief deputy attorney general under Democrat Bill Lockyer, a post he held for four years. He previously served as senior assistant attorney general in charge of the Correctional Law Section, and much of his work as legal affairs secretary was taken up with prison reform issues, as the state has been forced to respond to litigation concerning conditions in its correctional facilities.
He was also responsible, along with Clarey and Judicial Appointments Advisor John Davies, with vetting candidates for the bench.
Before joining the state service, Siggins practiced civil litigation and maritime law in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law and Loyola Marymount University.
Ruvolo, 58, has served as an associate justice in Div. Two since 1996. He was previously a Contra Costa Superior Court judge from 1994 to 1996.
Before his appointment to the Superior Court, Ruvolo was an attorney for the firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon for 17 years. He also served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Tort Section from 1972 to 1977.
Ruvolo, a registered Republican, earned a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia, a law degree from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers.
Among the opinions he has authored for Div. Two was one that upheld the validity of Indian gaming compacts that allow tribes to conduct high-stakes casino gaming that is off-limits to licensed card clubs like the Hustler Casino owned by pornographer Larry Flynt, who challenged the compacts on equal-protection and other constitutional grounds.
In another case, he wrote that the California Milk Products Advisory Board is a public entity and cannot be sued for violation of the Unfair Competition Law. The ruling blocked a suit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claimed the board’s well-known “Happy Cows” advertising campaign deceived the public by masking what PETA said were unhealthy conditions to which dairy cows were subjected.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company