Thursday, July 1, 2010
Governor Names 11 to Superior Court, New Fifth District Justice
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday appointed 11 judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court, tapped a new justice for the Fifth District Court of Appeal and named five others to superior courts around the state.
The mostly-Democratic appointees in Los Angeles include Superior Court Commissioner Michael J. Convey; Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine C. Ewell; Los Angeles attorneys Dianna J. Gould-Saltman, Brian M. Hoffstadt, Marc R. Marmaro and Chestopher L. “Chet” Taylor; Los Angeles County Deputy Alternate Public Defenders James E. Horan, Upinder S. Kalra and Yvette Verastegui; Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Timothy R. Saito; and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Carlos E. Vazquez.
The governor also named Madera Superior Court Judge Jennifer R.S. Detjen to join the Fifth District, and appointed one new judge each to the superior courts in Lake, Merced, Orange, San Diego and Santa Barbara counties.
Convey, 50, became a court commissioner in 2002. Before that, he was an attorney for Silva, Clasen & Raffalow for 10 years, and at Nelsen, Thompson, Pegue & Thornton from 1989 to 1991. He also was an attorney for Struckmeyer & Wilson from 1987 to 1998.
A Democrat, Convey was admitted to the State Bar in 1989 after attending Arizona State University and DePaul University School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on July 27, 2009.
Ewell, 48, has served as chief of the criminal division for the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California since 2007, and was previously chief of the major frauds section from 2004 to 2007, special assistant to the U. S. attorney from 2002 to 2004 and an assistant U.S. attorney for the major frauds section from 1991 to 1996.
She was also counsel for O’Melveny & Myers from 1997 to 2000, an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas from 1990 to 1991 and an associate attorney for Vinson & Elkins from 1986 to 1990.
A Republican, she graduated from Texas A&M University and Harvard Law School, and joined the State Bar in 1992. Ewell fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Josh M. Fredricks.
Gould-Saltman, 51, has been a partner at Gould-Saltman Law Offices since 1997 and was a sole practitioner for three years before that. She is also a former chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Section.
She was previously an attorney for the Law Offices of Lorraine C. Gollub from 1986 until 1994, and worked for Gollub & O’Connor as a law clerk, then associate attorney, from 1984 until 1986.
A Democrat, Gould-Saltman was admitted to the State Bar in 1985 after attending UC Irvine and Southwestern University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Judith C. Chirlin.
Hoffstadt, 39, has been a partner at Jones Day since 2007. He served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California as an assistant U. S. attorney for the preceding seven years and was senior counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 until 2000.
He also served as special counsel in the Office of General Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission from 1997 to 1998 following service as a law clerk to then-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor from 1996 to 1997, and to Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall from 1995 to 1996.
A Democrat, Hoffstadt was admitted to the State Bar in 1996 after graduating from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and the UCLA School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Bob T. Hight.
Marmaro, 62, has been a partner with Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro since 1981, was a litigation associate and partner for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips from 1979 to 1981, and served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1975 to 1978. He was also an associate for Debevoise & Plimpton from 1973 to 1975 and a law clerk for Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Gibbons from 1972 to 1973.
A Democrat, Marmaro was admitted to the State Bar in 1979 after graduating from George Washington University and New York University School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position Jan. 4.
Taylor, 55, has been a sole practitioner since 1991 and was previously an associate with Sidley & Austin from 1988 to 1990. He was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Lawrence T. Lydick of the Central District of California from 1987 until 1988, and before that an assistant district attorney in New York City from 1983 to 1987.
Registered decline-to-state, he joined the State Bar in 1988 after attending Fordham University and UCLA School of Law. Taylor fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William R. Chidsey.
Horan, 47, has served as a deputy alternate public defender since 2000. Previously, he was a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office from 1996 to 2000 and staff counsel for the California Employment Development Department from 1990 to 1996.
A Democrat, he attended the University of Michigan and Georgetown University Law Center and joined the State Bar in 1993. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Brett C. Klein.
Kalra, 45, has served as a deputy alternate public defender since 1995, and was previously a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office from 1990 to 1995
A Democrat, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UCLA School of Law before admission to the State Bar in 1990. Kalra fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen.
Verastegui, 43, has served as a deputy alternate public defender since 2001. Before that, she was a deputy public defender for the Orange County Public Defender’s Office from 1994 to 2001 and for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office in 1994.
A Democrat, Verastegui joined the State Bar in 1994 after graduating from UC Irvine and UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael S. Mink.
Saito, 47, has served as a deputy city attorney since 2000, and previously served the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as a research attorney and judicial law clerk from 1994 to 2000. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles.
A Republican, Saito graduated from UCLA and Glendale University College of Law before joining the State Bar in 1994. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position Jan. 26.
Vazquez, 46, of Pasadena, has served as a deputy district attorney since 1988. A Democrat, he attended UC San Diego and UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law before admission to the State Bar in 1988. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Terry B. Friedman.
Compensation for superior court judges statewide is $178,789, but Los Angeles Superior Court judges receive additional benefits such as the ability to participate in the county’s “MegaFlex” cafeteria benefits program—which allows a beneficiary to receive additional taxable income equal to 19 percent of salary, or benefits costing the county an equal amount—along with a “professional development allowance” and a 401(k) match of up to four percent of the judge’s salary.
Detjen, 55, joined the Madera Superior Court in 2001 after serving as senior deputy district attorney for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office from 1985 to 2001 and a deputy district attorney for the Madera County District Attorney’s Office from 1982 to 1985. She served as the court’s presiding judge from 2005 to 2006, and currently presides over the court’s Appellate Department.
A Republican, she joined the State Bar in 1982 after attending the University of Washington and law school at the University of San Diego.
If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Detjen will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Steven M. Vartabedian and her annual compensation will be $204,599.
In other news, the governor yesterday appointed:
•Commission on Judicial Performance Trial Counsel Andrew S. Blum, a Republican, to the Lake Superior Court. Blum, 50, was a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles from 1985 to 1989 and served in the Lake County District Attorney’s Office and as the attorney general for Kosrae State in Micronesia before joining the CJP in 2003.
•Merced County Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Bacciarini, 52, to the Merced Superior Court. Bacciarini is a Republican.
•Santa Ana attorney Theodore R. Howard, 67, to the Orange Superior Court. Howard is a Republican.
•San Diego attorney Margo L. Lewis, 43, to the San Diego Superior Court. Lewis is a Republican.
•Santa Barbara attorney Donna D. Geck, 60, to the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Geck is registered decline-to-state.
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