Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Page 1


Christmastime Appointments

Six Receive Judgeships on Los Angeles Superior Court

33 Trial Court  Seats Are Filled, Two Judges Are Elevated to Court of Appeal


By a MetNews Staff Writer




Deputy Public Defender


Assistant U.S. Attorney


Senior Trial Counsel


Superior Court Commissioner


Private Practitioner


Supervising Deputy A.G.


Five lawyers and one court commissioner gained appointment Friday to the Los Angeles Superior Court, being among 33 persons on whom Gov. Jerry Brown bestowed trial court judgeships statewide, at the same time he elevated two judges to Court of Appeal posts.

In Los Angeles County, Brown conferred superior court posts on Deputy Public Defender Gia G. Bosley, Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan J. De Witt of the Central District of California, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission senior trial counsel Kristin S. Escalante, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Robert S. Wada, private practitioner Gregory J. Weingart, and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Victoria B. Wilson.

The governor also made superior court appointments in 21 other counties.

He elevated Orange Judge Thomas M. Goethals to a seat as a Court of Appeal associate justice on Div. Three of the Fourth District and Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Mary J. Greenwood to an associate justice post on the Sixth District Court of Appeal. Those appointments are subject to confirmation by the three-person Commission on Judicial Appointments.



Orange Judge


Santa Clara Superior Court Judge


 All 35 appointees are either Democrats or have stated no party preference. Their ages range from 37 (Assistant Riverside Public Defender Emma C. Smith, placed on the Riverside Superior Court)  to 65 (attorney Daniel Belsky, appointed to the San Diego Superior Court).

Brown continued his tradition of making mass appointments at Christmastime. Since returning to the governorship in 2011, he made 13 superior court appointments statewide in 2011, a few days from Christmas; 30 the following year; 16 in 2013; nine in 2014; 11 in 2015; and 22 last year.

Filling Vacated Seats

In Los Angeles County, Brown filled the three vacancies remaining from last year.

Escalante is the replacement for Judge Soussan Bruguera, who retired on Dec. 15, 2016. Before going to work for the SEC in 2014, she was a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips LLP from 2011 to 2014, and a partner at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP from 2002 to 2011, where she was an associate from 1994 to 2001. Her law degree is from USC.

Weingart assumes the seat vacated Dec. 10 of last year by Judge Sally L. Meloch. He has been a partner at Munger Tolles since 2004, and was an associate there from 1992 to 1995, previously serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 1995 to 2004. His JD is from Harvard.

Wilson has been given the office vacated by Judge Steven Van Sicklen Nov. 1 of last year. She joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1994 and was a deputy there until 2001 when she gained her supervisorial post. Her law degree is from USC.

Converted Commissionerships

The other three appointees in Los Angeles fill vacancies created by the conversion of a court commissioner positions.

Bosley has been in the Public Defender’s Office since 2006. She served as a deputy trial counsel for the State Bar of California from 1999 to 2002, and has been a private practitioner. Whittier College School of Law awarded her a law degree.

De Witt, whose law degree is from Georgetown University Law Center, has served in various roles at the U.S. Attorney’s Office since joining it in 1997, presently as senior litigation counsel. She has also been in private practice.

Wada has served as a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner since 2016, a post he also held from 2008 to 2011. He was supervising court probate attorney from 2011 to 2016, HE was a court probate attorney from 1997 to 2008, previously working in private practice. His law degree is from Western State University College of Law.

Goethals fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice William F. Rylaarsdam and Greenwood takes the seat that was held by Justice Miguel Marquez, who resigned.

Superior Court judges receive $200,042 a year and Court of Appeal justices are paid $228,918 a year.


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