Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, July 17, 2015


Page 1


Brown Names 19 Superior Court Judges, Eight in Los Angeles


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday named 19 new superior court judges around the state eight of them in Los Angeles County.

Joining the Los Angeles Superior Court will be Los Angeles Supervising Deputy City Attorney Songhai D. Miguda-Armstead; sole practitioner Timothy P. Dillon; Burke, Williams and Sorensen partner Ronald F. Frank; Deputy District Attorney Julian C. Recana; Steptoe and Johnson partner Lawrence P. Riff; Irell and Manella partner Laura A. Seigle; Court of Appeal Judicial Attorney Natalie P. Stone; and Farmers Insurance Group managing attorney Lisa K. Sepe-Wiesenfeld.



Sole Practitioner


Law Firm Partner


Supervising Deputy City Attorney


Deputy District Attorney


Law Firm Partner


Law Firm Partner


Managing Attorney


C.A. Judicial Attorney


Miguda-Armstead, 39, joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2003 and became a supervising deputy in 2008. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno and UCLA School of Law.

She ran unsuccessfully for an open seat on the court last year.

Dillon, 59, established his downtown practice in 2000. He worked at several local firms between 1986 and 2000 and in New York City from 1981 to 1986. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and of the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Frank, 57, has been at his present firm since 2008. He worked at several other firms between 1983 and 2008 and is a graduate of Bucknell University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Recana, 45, joined the District Attorney’s Office in1999 after working briefly as a contract attorney at a civil firm. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Loyola Law School.

Judge’s Son

His father, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana, has been a judge since 1981 and is a former presiding judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court.

Riff, 59, joined his present firm in 1997. He worked at Lane Powell PC from 1986 to 1997, and was a trial attorney at the Southern Pacific Transportation Company from 1982 to 1985.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Oregon School of Law.

Seigle, 48, joined Irell and Manella in 1994 and had been a partner since 2001. She served as a law clerk for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain at the Ninth U.S Circuit. Court of Appeals from 1993 to 1994.

She is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School.

Former Law Clerk

Stone, 44, has held her present position since 2010, joining this district’s Court of Appeal from Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP, where she was an associate from 1999 to 2010. She served as a law clerk for Judge—now Senior Judge—A. Wallace Tashima at the Ninth Circuit from 1998 to 1999.

She is a graduate of Duke University and UCLA School of Law.

Sepe-Wiesenfeld, 59, joined Farmers in 2008 and was named to her present position earlier this year. She was national managing attorney at Coast National Insurance Company-Bristol West from 1997 to 2008 and a worked at Haight, Brown and Bonesteel from 1986 to 1997.

She is a graduate of UCLA and Pepperdine University School of Law.

Seven of the eight appointees are filling commissioner positions that were converted to judgeships by the Judicial Council last year. The exception is Stone, who fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Brian M. Hoffstadt to the Court of Appeal.

Named to judgeships in other counties were Kevin M. Seibert, a partner at Sacramento’s Downey Brand LLP since 2000, to the Tuolumne Superior Court; Assistant Public Defender Chad W. Firetag and Superior Court Commissioner Bambi J. Moyer to the Riverside Superior Court; Corey G. Lee, deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Riverside branch and Deputy District Attorney Charles J. Umeda to the San Bernardino Superior Court; Deputy County Counsel Sonia Cortés to the Yolo Superior Court; Jeffrey S. Brand, former dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law, and Superior Court Commissioner Thomas J. Nixon to the Alameda Superior Court; Irell and Manella partner Melissa R. McCormick and sole practitioner Julie A. Palafox to the Orange Superior Court; and Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey R. Finigan to the San Mateo Superior Court.

The governor’s office noted in a release that Cortés will be the first Latino judge on the Yolo Superior Court.

Firetag, Moyer, and Umeda are Republicans; Dillon, Frank, Seibert, McCormick, Palafox and Finigan are registered without party preference; and the others are Democrats.

Following a recent cost-of-living increase mandated by statute, the salary of a superior court judge is $184,610.


Copyright 2015, Metropolitan News Company