Monday, October 29, 2001
Davis Names Aronson to Fourth District, Four to Orange Superior Court
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Gov. Gray Davis elevated Orange Superior Court Judge Richard Aronson to the Court of Appeal and appointed three civil litigators and a court commissioner to the Superior Court Friday.
Aronson, 51, was appointed to the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Div. Three.
Davis also named Cormac Carney, James Di Cesare, and Kirk Nakamura as judges to the Orange Superior Court and Alameda Superior Court Commissioner Kenneth Norman to the Alameda Superior Court.
Appointed to the Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1996, Aronson has been serving on the Court of Appeal as a Justice Pro Tempore since last October. His selection fills the vacancy in one of two new positions in the Fourth Appellate District created by a senate bill which went into effect Jan. 1. There is also a vacancy in the district because of the retirement of Justice Thomas Crosby on June 1.
While on the bench as both a judge and a court commissioner, a post he held for seven years, Aronson has handled criminal civil, and family law cases.
Before coming to the Superior Court, Aronson worked as a prosecutor for the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office and as a deputy public defender in Orange County.
He also served as the lead staff attorney for Court of Appeal Justice Sheila Sonenshine.
Aronson earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of San Diego.
He will receive a salary of $152,260.
The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
Nakamura, 46, is a partner in the Santa Ana law firm of Beam, Brobeck, West & Sullivan, where he focuses his practice on defense of construction, personal injury and insurance coverage disputes.
For the past 10 years Nakamura has served as a judge pro tempore in small claims and traffic cases.
A former president of both the Orange County Japanese Lawyers Association and the Orange County Asian American Bar Association, Nakamura is a member of the Orange County Bar Association Board of Directors.
He is also a member of the Yorba Linda City Planning Commission and the board of directors of the Southeast Los Angeles/ North Orange County Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.
Nakamura received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine and his law degree from Duke Law School.
He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert Thomas.
A partner in the Costa Mesa law firm of Di Cesare & Behle since 1999, Di Cesare, 55, concentrates his practice on personal injury, product liability and professional negligence.
He is also experienced with family law, workers’ compensation, administrative law and criminal defense.
Di Cesare has been a judge pro tem in settlement conferences and has served as a neutral arbitrator in over 100 arbitrations.
Before joining his current firm, Di Cesare worked as a sole practitioner for 17 years. He has also been a partner with the firm of Di Cesare & Weaver and an associate with the Santa Ana firm of Aitken, Bradshaw & Andres.
The 1998 recipient of the State Bar’s Wiley W. Manual Award for pro bono legal services, Di Cesare has served on numerous boards, including those of the California Consumer Attorneys, Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Public Law Center of Orange County and the Legion Lex Chapter of the American Inns of Court.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Cal State, Fullerton and his law degree from Pepperdine Law School.
He will fill a new position on the Orange Superior Court.
Carney, 42, is a business litigator and partner in the Newport Beach office of O’Melveny & Meyers where he focuses on real estate, partnership, lender liability, environmental, intellectual property and insurance coverage disputes.
Before joining O’Melveny & Meyers, Carney was an associate with Latham & Watkins for four years.
He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers.
Carney received his undergraduate from UCLA, where he was an All-American football player. He played professional football with the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League for a year between college and law school.
Carney received his law degree from Harvard Law School.
He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jack Mandel.
A court commissioner for the past eight years, Norman, 48, has been assigned to Juvenile Court where he presides over dependency and delinquency cases.
He has also presided over felony preliminary hearings and misdemeanor arguments and trials.
Before becoming a court commissioner, Norman worked as a deputy public defender in Alameda County, an instructor for the Center for California Judicial Education and Research and served as a member of the Judicial College faculty.
Norman also served in the Marines for four years where he was a platoon commander and a battalion legal officer, rising to the rank of first lieutenant.
He is a member of the California Judges Association and the Charles Houston Bar Association and is on the board of the California Court Commissioners Association.
Norman received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from Hastings Law School.
Superior Court judges receive a salary of $133,051.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company