Tuesday, December 18, 2018
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday announced six appointments to superior courts, including placement of his chief deputy legal affairs secretary on the trial bench in Yolo County.
He recently named his senior legal advisor, Josh Groban, to the California Supreme Court, with a confirmation hearing set for Friday; chose two deputy legal affairs secretaries for Court of Appeal spots, to which they were confirmed; and named four other aides to vacancies on the Sacramento Superior Court.
The latest member of his staff to be given a judgeship is Tom M. Dyer, 44. He has been on Brown’s staff since 2015, before which he was legislative director at the state Department of Finance from 2012-15 and performed an analogous role at the former Department of Personnel Administration (“DPA”) from 2010-12.
Dyer was staff counsel at the Department of Social Services in 2009, labor relations counsel at the DPA from 2006-2008, and enforcement counsel at the Fair Political Practices Commission in 2006.
The U.C. Davis School of Law graduate was a Sutter deputy district attorney from 2003-2005.
Others appointed yesterday are:
Colin T. Bowen, 55, to the Alameda Superior Court. Bowen is a supervising deputy city attorney in Oakland, where he has been since 2015. Prior to that, he was interim board counsel for the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board from 2014-15, an Alameda deputy public defender from 1995-2007, and a private practitioner from 2007-13 and from 1990-94. His law degree is from Berkeley.
Scott R.L. Young, 39, to the Napa Superior Court. Currently a commissioner for that court, he was a Napa deputy district attorney from 2017-18 and 2007-14, a deputy district attorney in Orange from 2014-2017, and in private practice from 2005-2007. His JD is from McGeorge School of Law.
Sandy N. Leal, 46, to the Orange Superior Court. Leal is currently a deputy chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, where she has worked since 2004. From 1999-2004 the Boston College Law School graduate was assistant district counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Mark A. Urioste, 44, to the Sonoma Superior Court. He became a commissioner on that court this year, after working as a deputy district attorney for Sonoma from 2006-2018. In 2006 he was in private practice, before which he was a judicial assistant to King Superior Court Judge Julie Spector from 2003-2005; he earned his law degree at Lewis and Clark School of Law.
Peter M. Williams, 50, to Yolo Superior Court. He has been deputy secretary, general counsel at the state Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency since 2016, before which he was with the state attorney general’s office in various capacities from 2001-2015. A private practitioner from 1996-2001, Williams obtained his J.D. at the University of San Diego School of Law.
Leal and Urioste are registered without a party preference; yesterday’s other appointees are Democrats.
There are currently no judicial vacancies on the Los Angeles Superior Court, but two are expected to occur Friday with the anticipated confirmation of two judges of that court, Brian Currey and John Shepard Wiley, to this district’s Court of Appeal.
A Brown spokesperson said yesterday that “[t]here are approximately 12 superior court vacancies across the state.” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has expressed the expectation that the governor will fill all vacancies before leaving office on Jan. 7.
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