Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, December 13, 2010


Page 3


Commission Confirms Court of Appeal Justices on Third, Fifth Districts


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Commission on Judicial Appointments on Friday unanimously confirmed Third District Court of Appeal Justice Vance W. Raye and Fifth District Justice Brad R. Hill as presiding justices of those courts, and approved the nominations of four new justices.

Following hearings in San Francisco, the commission’s three members also confirmed the nominations of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary, Andrea L. Hoch, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Elena J. Duarte and San Joaquin Superior Court Presiding Judge William J. Murray Jr. to the Third District, as well as the nomination of Fresno Superior Court Donald R. Franson Jr. to the Fifth District.

Voters last month approved Hill to succeed retiring Presiding Justice James Ardaiz Jan. 3, but Friday’s confirmation allows Hill to take the post Dec. 28 and serve out the final week of Ardaiz’s term.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George—who is retiring this year, likely making Friday’s votes his last as chair of the commission—was joined in his approval of the Third District nominees by Attorney General Jerry Brown and by retired Third District Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland, who stepped down in September but continues to serve the court. Ardaiz cast the third vote on the Fifth District nominations.

Brown, as governor-elect, might have been able to name his own choices to any of the positions, save Hill’s new post, upon taking office Jan. 3 had either of the other two commission members cast a negative vote.

Raye, 64, has been a Third District justice since 1991, and before that served as a Sacramento Superior Court judge and as deputy legislative secretary and then legal affairs secretary for then-Gov. George Deukmejian.

Hill, 56, joined the Fifth District in 2006 following 15 years of service as a judge on the superior and municipal courts in Fresno, and eight years of private practice.

Hoch, 51, has been Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary since 2005, and was previously the administrative director for the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Before that, she also worked for the Office of the Attorney General and for the Public Employment Relations Board.

She fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Rick Sims last month.

Duarte, 41, became a superior court judge in Los Angeles in 2007, but joined the Sacramento bench in 2008 after her husband, who was working in federal law enforcement, was transferred to the area. She was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California and a trial attorney for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

She fills the vacancy created by Raye’s elevation.

Murray, 53, joined the San Joaquin Superior Court in 1995, and before that served in the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. He also previously worked as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He fills a vacancy that has remained open since Justice Rodney Davis retired in February 2009.

Franson, 58, joined the superior court in 2005 following 27 years spent in private practice, as corporate counsel and, briefly, as a deputy district attorney in Fresno. His father, Donald R. Franson Sr., served 18 years on the Fifth District before retiring as presiding justice in 1990.

He fills the vacancy created by Hill’s elevation.


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