Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Page 1


Governor Nominates Bigelow Presiding Justice of Div. Eight


By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday nominated Court of Appeal Justice Tricia A. Bigelow of this district’s Div. Eight to be the division’s presiding justice.

If confirmed by the state Commission on Judicial Appointments, the former trial judge and prosecutor who joined Div. Eight in June of last year would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Candace Cooper at the end of 2008. The commission is comprised of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Jerry Brown, and, in acting on Court of Appeal nominees, the district’s senior Court of Appeal presiding justice, which here is Joan Dempsey Klein of Div. Three.  

Confirmation of Bigelow, 49, would also create another associate justice vacancy on Div. Eight.

Bigelow, a Pasadena resident, told the MetNews that she was “honored and humbled that the governor put his trust in me.” Schwarzenegger also appointed the justice to her current post.

She said she looked forward to the opportunity to be the administrator of the division and “new challenges.”

A Republican, Bigelow was a Los Angeles Superior Court judge from 1998 until her elevation to the appellate bench, and a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge for three years before that. She presided over general jurisdiction fast track civil trials and long cause criminal trials, and was appointed to both positions by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Bigelow attended college at California State University, Fullerton and law school at Pepperdine University. She was admitted to the State Bar in 1986 and served until 1995 as a state deputy attorney general in the Criminal Law Division.

While there she became a supervising deputy attorney general and the trial coordinator in Los Angeles, where she oversaw all criminal trials and investigations. She was also assigned to the Special Prosecutions Unit, where she handled organized crime and major fraud trials, and cross-designated as both a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and an assistant U.S. attorney.

Bigelow was judicial appointments co-chair for the League of Women Prosecutors while working for the office, a founding co-president of the Los Angeles Criminal Law Inns of court and a member of “CALJIC,” the Los Angeles Superior Court Criminal Jury Instructions Committee.

She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School and as a faculty member at the Center for Judicial Education and Research.

Bigelow chaired CJER’s New Judge Education Committee from 2006 to 2008—acting as dean to the annual Judicial College and overseeing the education of all newly-appointed judges in California—as well as the center’s Criminal Law Education Committee from 2000 to 2002 and the Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Law Education Committee from 2006 to 2008.

Her father, the late M. Ross Bigelow, was a Los Angeles Superior Court judge from 1973 to 1988.

Bigelow said she had not talked about the appointment with her colleagues on the division, Justices Laurence Rubin and Madeleine Flier, because both were “on prearranged vacations.” However she commented that she “absolutely” anticipated their support.

“We enjoy collegiality” on Div. Eight, she said. “It’s a pleasure to work with Justice Rubin and Justice Flier.”

The MetNews reported earlier this year that Schwarzenegger sent the names of both Bigelow and Rubin to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as possible replacements for Cooper.

Compensation for the position is $204,599.

In other news, Schwarzenegger also appointed 20 judges in 11 counties, including the following:

•Imperial Superior Court Commissioner Poli Flores Jr., a Democrat, to the Imperial Superior Court;

Bakersfield attorney Jose R. Benavides, a Democrat, and Deputy Kern County Counsel Susan M. Gill, a Republican, to the Kern Superior Court;

Hanford attorney Donna L. Tarter, a Republican, to the Kings Superior Court;

•Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Pamela L. Butler, a Republican, to the Monterey Superior Court;

Tustin attorney Beatriz M. Gordon and Orange Superior Court Commissioner Dennis J. Keough, both Republicans, to the Orange Superior Court;

•Supervising and Senior Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Stephen J. Gallon, a Republican, to the Riverside Superior Court;

Stockton attorney William D. Johnson, a Democrat, to the San Joaquin Superior Court;

Deputy San Mateo County Counsel Raymond Swope, a Democrat, to the San Mateo Superior Court;

•San Jose attorney Julia A. Emede, Boulder Creek attorney Maureen A. Folan and Santa Clara Superior Court Commissioner Jesus Valencia Jr., all Democrats; Supervising Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Daniel T. Nishigaya and Hollister attorney Ronald I. Toff, both Republicans; and Woodside attorney Theodore C. Zayner, registered decline-to-state, to the Santa Clara Superior Court;

•Chief Solano County Deputy District Attorney John B. Ellis and Deputy District Attorney Timmy P. Kam, both Republicans, to the Solano Superior Court;

•Ventura Superior Court Commissioner Roger L. Lund and Santa Barbara Superior Court research attorney William Brennan Lynch, both Republicans, to the Ventura Superior Court.

The compensation for each position is $178,789.


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