Friday, February 19, 2010
Governor Names Judge Elizabeth Grimes to Court of Appeal
Schwarzenegger Appoints 11 New Judges Statewide, Seven in Los Angeles County
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth A. Grimes to Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal.
He also named Karen M. Ackerson-Brazille, David R. Fields, Reva G. Goetz, Laura L. Laesecke, Sally L. Meloch, Shellie L. Samuels, and Paul T. Suzuki to judgeships in the Superior Court.
Grimes, 55, was tapped for the bench in 1997 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. She had previously served Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher as a partner from 1988 to 1998, associate from 1980 to 1988 and was a summer associate in 1979.
A graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Texas at Austin, Grimes was admitted to practice in 1980.
If confirmed, she would fill the vacancy created by Justice Tricia A. Bigelow’s confirmation as presiding justice of Div. Eight last week and will receive a salary of $204,599.
Ackerson-Brazille, 45, has been a deputy attorney general since 2000. She spent the eight years prior to that as a solo practitioner after spending one year as an associate for Albright, Yee and Schmit in 1992.
The newly-appointed jurist also served as a law clerk for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office from 1989 to 1992 and for the Department of Airports from 1990 to 1991, and as a paralegal for the U.S. Air Force Reserves from 1985 to 1991.
She attended Whittier Law School and UC San Diego before joining the State Bar in 1991.
Ackerson-Brazille fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position last March.
Fields, 47, has been a partner with Brown White and Newhouse since 2009. Previously, he was attorney for the Law Offices of James Spertus in 2008 and senior counsel for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld from 2002 to 2008.
He was an associate for Greenberg Glusker from 2001 to 2002 and assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1991 to 2001. Fields also spent a year as an associate with Katten, Muchin and Rosenman in 1991 and three years with Wyman Bautzer, Kuchel and Silbert, from 1988 to 1991.
Before being admitted to practice in 1988, Fields earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from UC Berkley.
Fields fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert Paul O’Neill.
Goetz, 56, was elected by the judges of the Superior Court as a commissioner in 1991 after having spent seven years as a deputy district attorney and one year as a solo practitioner.
She graduated from Whittier Law School and UCLA before joining the State Bar in 1982 and she fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Charles W. Stoll.
Deputy District Attorney
Laesecke, 42, has served as a deputy district attorney since 1992, when she joined the State Bar, and fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Alice C. Hill.
She attended UC Berkley for law school after graduating from Stanford University.
Meloch, 47, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Aviva K. Bobb.
She has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice since 1989, joining the office after she spent two years as an associate for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
Before being admitted to practice in 1987, Meloch attended USC for her undergraduate work and her law degree.
Samuels, 55, has spent the past 25 years as a deputy district attorney after graduating from Loyola Law School and UCLA.
She was admitted to the State Bar in 1984 and fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Victoria G. Chaney to this district’s Court of Appeals.
Suzuki, 61, a commissioner, was elected in 2006 after having spent over 25 years as a partner with Suzuki and Ito.
Prior to that, Suzuki was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach from 1976 to 1978 and Riverside County Legal Services from 1974 to 1976. He was a solo practitioner from 1978 to 1984.
He attended UCLA for both his undergraduate and law degrees before being admitted to practice in 1974.
Suzuki fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position last July.
Grimes, Ackerson-Brazille and Goetz are Republicans, and the rest are Democrats.
Others tapped for the bench were:
Rebecca C. Hardie, director and counsel for Pacific Gas and Electric Company to the Contra Costa Superior Court;
Deputy District Attorney Jacquelyn H. Duffy to the San Luis Obispo Superior Court;
Private practitioner Bret D. Hillman of Hillman and Lew to the Tulare Superior Court; and
Deputy District Attorney Kimberlee A. Lagotta to the San Diego Superior Court.
The compensation for superior court judges is $178,789.
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