Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, December 19, 2011


Page 3


Brown Names Orange County Lawyer as Corporations Department Counsel


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday nominated Santa Ana attorney John R. Hanna as general counsel at the Department of Corporations.

He also tapped Modesto practitioner Arsenio Mataka to serve as assistant secretary of environmental justice at the California Environmental Protection Agency, and Sacramento lawyers Hiren M. Patel and Thomas R. Gibson to serve as counsel to two different state agencies.

None of Friday’s nominees require Senate confirmation, and the compensation for each ranges from $74,076 for Mataka’s post, to $132,012 for Patel’s.

Hanna, 60, has been a partner at Hanna and Scott since 2004. Prior to this he  spent 24 years with Horton Barbaro & Reilly.

He attended CSU Fullerton and Loyola Law School before joining the State Bar in 1980.

Mataka, 34, has been directing attorney at the California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. since April 2011, where he had served as a staff attorney since 2010.

He was a consultant at Mataka Consulting from 2009 to 2010 and an American Bar Association diversity fellow in environmental law in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008.

He attended CSU Sacramento and Humphrey’s College School of Law in Stockton before being admitted  to practice in 2009.

Patel, 42, was the governor’s choice to serve as chief counsel at the Department of Developmental Services.

He has been a deputy state attorney general since 1999.

Prior to this, Patel was a law clerk to Chief Judge David Russell at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California from 1997 to 1999 and an associate attorney at Haworth Bradshaw Stallknecht & Barber from 1996 to 1997.

Patel is a graduate of UC Davis and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law. He joined the State Bar in 1995.

Gibson, 44, was selected to serve as general counsel at the Department of Fish and Game.

He has been acting general counsel at the Department of Fish and Game since 2010 and was deputy general counsel from 2008 to 2010. 

The attorney was also a partner at Best Best & Krieger, LLP from 2005 to 2008 and an associate there from 2002 to 2005. 

From 1999 to 2002, he was an associate at Hyman Phelps & McNamara PC and from 1997 to 1999, he was an associate at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard PC.

Gibson attended UC Davis and Lewis and Clark Law School before earning his license to practice in 1997.

Hanna, Mataka, and Patel are Democrats. Gibson is a Republican.


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