Governor Brown Appoints 13 Superior Court Judges

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of 13 California superior court judges, which include: one in Alameda County; one in Contra Costa County; three in Los Angeles County; one in Riverside County; two in Sacramento County; three in San Diego County; one in Santa Clara County; and one in Solano County.

Alameda County Superior Court

Eumi K. Lee, 46, of San Francisco, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Alameda County Superior Court. Lee has been a clinical professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law since 2005, where she served as co-founder and co-director of the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice from 2010 to 2012. She was an ethics trainer for San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edison from 2009 to 2012 and of counsel and a consultant at Gonzalez and Leigh from 2006 to 2012. Lee was an associate at Keker and Van Nest from 2002 to 2005, a law clerk for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2001 to 2002, an associate at Thelen Reid and Priest from 2000 to 2001 and a law clerk for the Honorable Jerome Turner at the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee from 1999 to 2000. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Alison M. Tucher to the Court of Appeal. She is the first Korean-American judge ever appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court. Lee is a Democrat.

Contra Costa County Superior Court

Wendy McGuire Coats, 44, of Alamo, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Coats has been a partner and appellate counsel at Fisher and Phillips LLP since 2016. She was a partner at McGuire Coats LLP from 2010 to 2016 and an associate at Howrey LLP from 2006 to 2009. Coats served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 2005 to 2006. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barry P. Goode. Coats is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Joseph J. Burghardt, 46, of Manhattan Beach, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Burghardt has served as a deputy public defender at the Law Offices of the Los Angeles County Public Defender since 2000. He was a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. from 1997 to 2000. Burghardt earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law and Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Stanford University. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 25, 2018. Burghardt is a Democrat.

Lisa S. Tamashiro Coen, 45, of Fullerton, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Coen has served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 2000. She was a sole practitioner from 1999 to 2000 and an associate at Richards and Chemerinski from 1998 to 1999. Coen earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 25, 2018. Coen is registered without party preference.

Anne Hwang, 42, of View Park-Windsor Hills, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Hwang has been chief deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Central District of California since 2018, where she has served in several positions since 2006, including chief of the Los Angeles Trial Unit, supervising deputy federal public defender and deputy federal public defender. She was an associate at Irell and Manella LLP from 2002 to 2006. Hwang earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 25, 2018. Hwang is a Democrat.

Riverside County Superior Court

Johnnetta E. Anderson, 41, of Eastvale, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court. Anderson has served as a supervising deputy public defender at the Law Offices of the Riverside County Public Defender since 2016, where she has served as a deputy public defender since 2006. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the California Western School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, San Bernardino. She fills the vacancy of a new position created on July 1, 2018. Anderson is a Democrat.

Sacramento County Superior Court

Joginder Dhillon, 57, of Sacramento, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Dhillon has served as a senior advisor in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2013. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982 and served in the Air Force for 20 years, including assignments to Panama, Saudi Arabia and Germany. Prior to his retirement from active duty, Dhillon was the legal advisor to U.S. Space Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command. Dhillon served as chief counsel for the California Gambling Control Commission from 2009 to 2013 and as general counsel for the California Emergency Management Agency from 2007 to 2009. He was director of academic support at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law from 2005 to 2007, an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton from 2004 to 2005 and an associate and shareholder at Schuering Zimmerman and Doyle LLP from 2002 to 2004. Dhillon earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Laws degree in intellectual property law from the University of Houston Law Center. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raymond M. Cadei. Dhillon plans to continue serving in his current position in the Governor’s Office until the end of the Administration. He is the first Sikh judge ever appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court. Dhillon is registered without party preference.

Peter K. Southworth, 53, of Latrobe, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Southworth has served as chief deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2014. He served as deputy secretary and general counsel at the California State Transportation Agency from 2013 to 2014. Southworth served in several positions at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1997 to 2013, including supervising deputy attorney general in the Government Law Section and deputy attorney general in the Land Law Section and in the Government Law Section. He was an associate at Downey, Brand, Seymour and Rohwer from 1993 to 1997 and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California from 1992 to 1993. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Marjorie K. Durenberger. Southworth plans to continue serving in his current position in the Governor’s Office until the end of the Administration. He is registered without party preference.

San Diego County Superior Court

Wendy M. Behan, 46, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court. Behan has been a partner at Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt and Penfield LLP since 2010, where she was an associate from 1999 to 2010. Behan earned a Juris Doctor degree from the California Western School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was president of California Women Lawyers from 2014 to 2015 and of the Lawyers Club of San Diego from 2010 to 2011. Effective December 28, 2018, she will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joan M. Lewis. Behan is a Democrat.

Laura H. Miller, 50, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court. Miller has been a sole practitioner since 2005. She was a partner at Olins, Hayes and Miller from 2003 to 2005 and an associate at Olins, Foerster and Hayes from 1994 to 2003. Miller served as a law clerk for the Honorable Harry L. Powazek at the San Diego County Superior Court in 1993. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Western State University, College of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Chico. Miller is a certified family law specialist and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on June 21, 2018. Miller is registered without party preference.

Rohanee Zapanta, 42, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court. Zapanta has served as a deputy public defender at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. She was an associate at the Law Offices of Bay Bulaon in 2005 and at the Price Law Group from 2003 to 2004. Zapanta was a law clerk at the Law Offices of Robert L. Swain and at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office in 2002. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Judith F. Hayes. Zapanta is a Democrat.

Santa Clara County Superior Court

Audra Ibarra, 49, of Palo Alto, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. She has been counsel at California Appellate Law Group since 2012 and a sole practitioner since 2010. Ibarra served as the deputy chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California from 2005 to 2006, where she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2006. Ibarra served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California from 1999 to 2001. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Solano County District Attorney’s Office from 1997 to 1999. Ibarra was an associate at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro from 1994 to 1996. She is a member of the California Judicial Council. Ibarra earned a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Mary J. Greenwood to the Court of Appeal. She is the first Filipino-American ever appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area. Ibarra is registered without party preference.

Solano County Superior Court

Stephanie G. Jones, 39, of Vallejo, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Solano County Superior Court. Jones has served as a deputy public defender at the Solano County Public Defender’s Office since 2005. She served as a law clerk at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office from 2004 to 2005. Jones earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Cynda R. Unger. Jones is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $207,424.

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