Schwarzenegger Names 19 to Superior Courts, 11 in Los Angeles
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named 11 judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court, filling vacancies created by the conversion of seven court commissioner positions and four judicial retirements.
Commissioners Michele E. Flurer and Lia R. Martin were tapped for judgeships, along with Deputy Public Defender Akemi D. Arakaki, Deputy District Attorneys John J. Lonergan Jr. and Shelly Baron Torrealba, and Deputy Alternate Public Defender Victor D. Martinez.
Private practitioners Russell S. Kussman, Yolanda Orozco, Salvatore T. Sirna, Robert E. Willett, and David V. Herriford were also appointed to the bench.
Flurer, 49, was elected a court commissioner in 2006. Prior to that, she served 12 years as general counsel for American Tours International. Flurer was an associate for Baker and McKenzie from 1989 to 1994 and Knapp, Petersen, and Clarke from 1987 to 1989.
The graduate of UC Irvine and the Rutgers University School of Law fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Richard B. Wolfe.
Martin, 45, spent 13 years with the District Attorney’s Office before being elected a commissioner in 2006. She completed her legal education at USC after graduating from Stanford University. Martin fills a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Arakaki, 37, has been a member of the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1999. Prior to that, she was an attorney for the Law Offices of Steve Escovar. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Loyola Law School, and fills a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Lonergan, 47, has been a prosecutor since 1997, beginning his legal career with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office and then moving to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1999. He attended Mt. St. Mary’s University and Southwestern Law School. Lonergan fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Torrealba, 47, has been a member of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 1994. After graduating from Central Michigan University and Southwestern, she worked as an attorney for Robinson, DiLando and Whitaker from 1992 to 1993 and then spent a year as a sole practitioner before becoming a prosecutor. Torrealba fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Martinez, 47, has served as a deputy alternate public defender since 1996. He worked for Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office from 1994 to 1995, after earning his undergraduate and law degrees from Western State University. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Kussman, 61, was a founding partner of Kussman and Whitehill, which was established in 1988. He was an associate, then partner, at Gage, Mazursky, Schwartz, Angelo and Kussman from 1984 to 1988.
Prior to that, Kussman was a sole practitioner from 1982 to 1984. He served as an associate attorney for Belli Law Offices in 1982 and for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher from 1981 to 1982. Kussman attended from Boston University and earned his law degree from UC Berkley. He also holds a medical degree from Boston University.
Kussman fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eudon Ferrell.
Orozco, 57, has been a partner for Jones Day since 2005. Previously, she was a partner for Liner, Grode, Stein, Yankelevitz, Sunshine, Regenstreif and Taylor from 2004 to 2005. Orozco was an associate, then partner, for O’Neill, Lysaght and Sun from 1988 to 2003. She was an associate for Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson, and Casey from 1986 to 1987 and Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas from 1985 to 1986.
She served as a deputy with the Office of the Federal Public Defender from 1981 to 1984 and a trial attorney for the Department of Justice from 1979 to 1981.
The UCSC alum attended Stanford Law School and fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Sirna, 42, has served as a partner in Cammarano and Sirna since 2006. He was a partner for Beck, Sirna and Jenkins from 2002 to 2004 and an associate for Prindle, Decker and Amaro from 1995 to 2002.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Whittier Law School. Sirna fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Yaffe.
Willett, 67, has served as an associate, partner, vice chair and vice chair emeritus for O’Melveny and Myers since 1974. He earned his law degree from UC Berkeley and his undergraduate degree from San Fernando Valley State College.
He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Herriford, 52, of Inglewood, has been a sole practitioner since 1990. Prior to that, he was an associate for McKinney, Peters and Granville from 1989 to 1990. Herriford was a prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office from 1984 to 1989 and an associate for Long and Levit from 1982 to 1984.
He completed his undergraduate and legal education at Stanford University, and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gregg Marcus.
Martin, Arakaki, Torrealba, Kussman, Orozco, Willet and Herriford are Democrats. Flurer, Lonergan, Martinez and Sirna are Republicans.
Schwarzenegger yesterday also named an additional eight attorneys to judgeships statewide.
In Santa Clara, the governor tapped Deputy Public Defender Andrea E. Flint, Deputy District Attorney JoAnne McCracken, and private practitioners Thomas E. Kuhnle, James L. Stoelker and Drew C. Takaichi to join the bench.
Schwarzenegger also appointed Stanislaus prosecutor Valli K. Israels to that county’s superior court, Visalia sole practitioner David C. Mathias to the Tulare Superior Court, and Stockton attorney W. Stephen Scott to the San Joaquin Superior Court.
Flint, Israels, Takaichi, McCracken and Kuhnle are Democrats. Scott, Mathias and Stoelker are Republicans.
The compensation for a judgeship is $178,789.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company