Friday, May 3, 2002
Davis Names Fresno Judge Gene Gomes to Fifth District Court of Appeal
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Fresno Superior Court Judge Gene Gomes was named yesterday to the Fifth District Court of Appeal.
Gov. Gray Davis nominated Gomes, 56, to fill a new seat on the court. Gomes has been a trial judge since 1980, when then-Gov. Jerry Brown named him the old Fresno Municipal Court, and was elevated to the Superior Court by Brown in 1982.
Gomes has handled a broad array of cases as a jurist, but is best known for having presided over the felony master calendar for 11 years. A release from the governor's office yesterday said Gomes has sentenced more than 20,000 defendants to state prison.
The jurist also served in the Appellate Department for five years and has performed two stints at the Fifth District on assignment. He currently handles both civil and criminal trials.
Among his trials was one of the longest in the county's history, lasting six months and ending with guilty verdicts for seven defendants on more than 100 counts in July 2000. Jurors deadlocked as to two defendants and one was acquitted on all counts in which he was named.
The defendant, members of a gang called the Mongolian Street Boys, were charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, and pimping. The case grew out of an investigation that began with the rape of three women at a Fresno motel in 1998, news reports indicated.
Gomes sentenced the seven to prison terms ranging from 18 years, eight months to 36 years, eight months.
The Fresno native is a graduate of Fresno City College, California State University-Fresno, and McGeorge School of Law. He began his legal career as a Fresno deputy district attorney in 1972, rose to chief deputy within five years, then joined his father at the general practice law firm of Gomes, Gomes, Fiske & Berman before being appointed to the bench.
A frequent lecturer at judicial education programs, he serves on the Education Planning and Coordinating Committee of the California Judges Association and is a former chair of the CJA Criminal Law and Procedure Committee.
The nomination is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which when considering Fifth District nominations is made up of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and Fifth District Presiding Justice James Ardaiz.
The confirmation hearing has been set for May 31 at noon in the California Supreme Court courtroom in San Francisco. Comments on the nominee, or requests to speak--which must be accompanied by a summary of the facts to which the speaker will testify--are due by 5 p.m. May 23.The commission's address is Commission on Judicial Appointments c/o Chief Justice of California, Supreme Court of California, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, Attention: Ms. Gale Tunnell, Secretary to the Commission.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company