Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 28, 2008


Page 3


Governor Nominates U.S. District Judge Jenkins to Court of Appeal


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday nominated U.S. District Judge Martin J. Jenkins of the Northern District of California for justice of the First District Court of Appeal.

Jenkins, 54, would, if confirmed, fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Joanne C. Parrilli.

A resident of Oakland, Jenkins began his career as a jurist in 1989, when Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to the Alameda Municipal Court.  He served in the court’s Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Judicial District until 1992, when Gov. Pete Wilson appointed him to the Alameda Superior Court.

He became a U.S. district judge in 1997 after he was nominated to the post by President Clinton.

Jenkins attended City College in San Francisco, and then later graduated from Santa Clara University in 1977, where he played varsity football and tennis, and received an honorable mention for the NCAA Div. II All-American football team. 

After college, he played briefly in the National Football League as a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks. However, he told the San Francisco Chronicle in a 2004 interview that he decided to shift careers after two games and go into law after realizing that he would make a better lawyer than a football player.

Jenkins graduated from law school at the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1980.  He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1981, and that year became a deputy district attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

In 1983, Jenkins became a civil rights trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where his work took him throughout the country to prosecute Ku Klux Klan members and others accused of racial violence. 

However, after his mother became ill in 1985, he returned the Bay Area and took a position as a trial attorney for Pacific Bell handling personal injury and wrongful termination cases, and directing the company’s summer law clerk program. He continued to serve in this position until his first appointment to the bench.

Jenkins remains active in a number of civic, religious and charitable organizations, serving youth in the Bay Area, and also referees high school and college football games.

His nomination to the appellate court is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which when considering First District nominations consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Jerry Brown, and the district’s senior presiding justice, J. Anthony Kline. Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company