Friday, December 10, 2010
S.C. Appoints Member to Commission on Judicial Performance
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California Supreme Court said yesterday that its justices have unanimously voted to appoint Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Erica R. Yew, a former member of the State Bar Board of Governors, to the Commission on Judicial Performance.
Yew, whose appointment is effective today, succeeds San Francisco Superior Court Judge Katherine Feinstein, who resigned from the CJP in order to become that court’s presiding judge.
Feinstein’s term on the CJP was set to conclude Feb. 28. Yew will serve the remainder of the term and then begin a new, four-year term March 1, the Supreme Court said.
Yew joined the Santa Clara Superior Court in 2001 at the appointment of then-Gov. Gray Davis. She is assigned to the court’s Juvenile Dependency division where she presides over the Family Wellness Court, a federally-funded project to serve children whose families are struggling with addiction, homelessness, poverty and other issues.
She has been a member of the Judicial Council since 2009 and is the immediate past president of the California Asian-American Judges Association.
Before joining the bench, Yew was an associate and shareholder with San Jose firm Robinson & Wood Inc from 1985 to 1999, and then a partner with San Jose firm McManis, Faulkner & Morgan. Her practice emphasized insurance defense work, including the defense of personal injury, defamation, legal and medical malpractice, civil rights, wrongful termination, and patent and trademark infringement.
She has also been a volunteer judge pro tempore and as a court-appointed arbitrator in civil cases, and taught trial advocacy at Stanford Law School.
Yew served on the State Bar Board of Governors as one of two representatives from District 3—which includes Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa counties—after defeating three opponents in 2000. While there, she was a member of a panel that screened prospective State Bar Court judges.
A graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Hastings School of Law, Yew has served on the boards of the Asian Law Alliance, the Santa Clara County Law Library, the Pro Bono Project of Silicon Valley, the Legal Aid Society, the Santa Clara County Bar Association, Lincoln Law School, and Child Advocates of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
She has received awards for community service as both a judge and a lawyer, including the San Jose Business Journal’s 2009 Women of Influence honor in the Silicon Valley, the Public Interest Clearinghouse’s Opening Doors to Justice Award and the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s Unsung Heroes Award.
The 11-member CJP is an independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges, under Article VI, section 18 of the California Constitution.
The commission is composed of three judges appointed by the California Supreme Court; two attorneys and two non-attorney public members appointed by the governor; two public members appointed by the speaker of the Assembly; and two public members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. Commission members serve four-year terms.
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