SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the appointment of 19 California superior court judges, which include one in Butte County, 10 in Los Angeles County, one in Orange County, two in Riverside County, two in San Bernardino County, two in San Francisco County and one in Ventura County.

Butte County Superior Court

Corie J. Caraway, 43, of Chico, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Butte County Superior Court. Caraway has served as a Commissioner at the Butte County Superior Court since 2018. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2012 to 2018 and served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Butte County District Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2012. Caraway was an Associate and Law Clerk at Schumann, Rallo & Rosenberg LLP from 2002 to 2004. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Western State College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara L. Roberts. Caraway is the first Asian-American Judge ever appointed to the Butte County Superior Court. She is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Rita L. Badhan, 43, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Badhan has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 2007. She served as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office from 2006 to 2007 and as a Deputy Public Defender at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office from 2004 to 2006. Badhan was a Sole Practitioner in 2004. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Abraham Khan. Badhan is a Democrat.

Alicia Y. Blanco, 54, of Burbank, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Blanco has served as a Commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2015. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2014 to 2015. Blanco served as a Supervising Deputy Federal Public Defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California from 2003 to 2014 and as a Deputy Federal Defender there from 1991 to 2003. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Southwestern University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Leslie A. Swain. Blanco is a Democrat.

Robert E. Sanchez DuFour, 41, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Sanchez DuFour has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 2005. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Steven P. Sanora. Sanchez DuFour is a Democrat.

Carla L. Garrett, 57, of Long Beach, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Garrett has served as an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings in the California Department of General Services since 2008. She was Deputy Trial Counsel at the State Bar of California in 2008 and from 1990 to 2000. She was a Self-Employed Attorney from 2006 to 2008 and worked as an Independent Contractor Attorney at the Law Office of Robert M. Ball from 2000 to 2006. Garrett was an Associate at Tilles, Webb, Kulla & Grant from 1989 to 1990 and at Kinkle, Rodiger & Spriggs from 1988 to 1989. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California, School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Charles F. Palmer. Garrett is a Democrat.

Ronald O. Kaye, 59, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Kaye has been a Partner and Co-Founder at Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt LLP since 2003. He served as a Deputy Federal Public Defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California from 1995 to 2003 and was an Attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles from 1992 to 1995. Kaye was an Associate at Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe from 1991 to 1992 and the Staff Attorney at the Central American Refugee Center, Los Angeles from 1990 to 1991. He earned a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Arts degree in urban planning from a joint program of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard E. Rico. Kaye is a Democrat.

Elizabeth Potter Scully, 48, of Culver City, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Scully has been a Founding Partner at Jacobson Scully LLP since 2018. She was a Founding Partner at Jacobson Scully Shebby LLP from 2010 to 2018 and a Sole Practitioner from 2007 to 2010. Scully was a Partner at Kaufman Young Spiegel Robinson & Kenerson LLP from 2001 to 2007 and Senior Associate at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP from 1996 to 2001. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael A. Cowell. Scully is a Democrat.

David W. Swift, 41, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Swift has been a Partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP since 2014, where he was an Associate from 2008 to 2013. He was an Associate at Strange & Carpenter in 2008 and at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP from 2005 to 2008. Swift served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Cynthia Holcomb Hall at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2004 to 2005. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Elizabeth A. White. Swift is a Democrat.

Hernan D. Vera, 50, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Vera has been a Principal at Bird Marella since 2015. He was President and Chief Executive Officer at Public Counsel from 2008 to 2014, where he was Director of the Consumer Law Project from 2002 to 2008. He was an Associate and Counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP from 1997 to 2002. Vera was an Education Staff Attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1996 to 1997, a Law Clerk for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1995 to 1996 and an Associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP from 1994 to 1995. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Elizabeth R. Feffer. Vera is a Democrat.

Wendy L. Wilcox, 50, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Wilcox has been a Partner and Owner at Skane Wilcox LLP since 2010. She was a Partner and Owner at Jampol Zimet Skane & Wilcox LLP from 2005 to 2010 and at Jampol Zimet & Wilcox LLP from 2004 to 2005. Wilcox was an Associate at Sedgwick LLP from 2002 to 2004, at Tressler LLP from 2000 to 2002 and at Ward, Kroll & Jampol from 1997 to 2000. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Stan Blumenfeld. Wilcox is registered without party preference.

Bryant Y. Yang, 38, of Arcadia, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Yang has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California since 2016. He was an Associate at Irell & Manella LLP from 2012 to 2016 and was a Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at Harvey Mudd College in 2009, 2015 and 2020. Yang was Deputy Director of Voter Protection at Organizing for America – Nevada in 2012. He served as a Law Clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2011 to 2012 and at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 2010 to 2011.Yang served as Special Prosecutor at the Burbank City Attorney’s Office and as Special Counsel at the Glendale City Attorney’s Office in 2010. He was an Associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2007 to 2010. Yang earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Yvonne T. Sanchez. Yang is a Democrat.

Orange County Superior Court

Lee L. Gabriel, 45, of Rancho Santa Margarita, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Gabriel has been Senior Deputy Public Defender at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office since 2018, where he has served as a Deputy Public Defender since 2005. He was a Freelance Writer and Researcher for Law Crossing in 2004. Gabriel earned a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David R. Chaffee. Gabriel is a Democrat.

Riverside County Superior Court

Kristi E. Hester, 47, of Palm Desert, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court. Hester has served as a Commissioner at the Riverside County Superior Court since 2018. She served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office from 2005 to 2018. Hester earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School. She fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Hester is a Democrat.

Michele A. Mathis, 40, of Menifee, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Riverside County Superior Court. Mathis has been a Deputy Public Defender at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office since 2008, where she has served in several positions, including Felony Trial Attorney, Drug Court Counsel, Misdemeanor Attorney and Juvenile Defender. Mathis earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Chapman University School of Law. She fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Mathis is registered without party preference.

San Bernardino County Superior Court

Guy A. Bovée, 54, of Victorville, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Bovée has served as a Commissioner at the San Bernardino County Superior Court since 2017. He was a Sole Practitioner from 2015 to 2017 and an Associate at the Law Office of Ripley and Associates from 2011 to 2015. Bovée was a Sole Practitioner from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at First Mountain Bank from 2005 to 2008 and Vice President and Credit Analyst at Sun Country Bank from 1996 to 2005. He was Vice President and SBA Manager at Western State Bank from 1994 to 1996 and an Assistant Vice President at Foothill Independent Bank from 1987 to 1994. Bovée served as a Corporal in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1987. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the California Southern Law School. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Bovée is registered without party preference.

Joseph T. Ortiz, 50, of Riverside, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Ortiz has been a Partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP since 2012, where he has held several positions since 2008, including Of Counsel and Associate. He was an Associate at Epstein Becker Green from 2006 to 2008 and at Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden PC from 2002 to 2006. He served as a Law Clerk at the Minnesota Court of Appeals from 2001 to 2002. Ortiz earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Ortiz is a Democrat.

San Francisco County Superior Court

Brian L. Ferrall, 54, of San Francisco, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Ferrall has been a Partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP since 1999 and was an Associate there from 1995 to 1999. He was an Associate at Brobeck Phleger & Harrison from 1992 to 1995 and served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Veronica D. Wicker at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana from 1991 to 1992. Ferrall earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Charlene Kiesselbach. Ferrall is a Democrat.

Murlene J. Randle, 68, of San Francisco, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Randle has been a Sole Practitioner since 2006. She served as Senior Labor Negotiator at the City and County of San Francisco Department of Human Resources in 2006 and as Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice from 2004 to 2006. Randle served in several positions at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office from 1982 to 2004, including Chief Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division, the Crimes Against Women, Children and the Elderly Division, the Homicide Unit and Sexual Assault Unit. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Teri L. Jackson to the Court of Appeal. Randle is a Democrat.

Ventura County Superior Court

Paul W. Baelly, 46, of Oxnard, has been appointed to serve in an interim appointment as a judge in the Ventura County Superior Court. Baelly has served as a Commissioner at the Ventura County Superior Court since 2017. He served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office from 2006 to 2017 and at the Kern County Public Defender’s Office from 2005 to 2006. Baelly earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kent M. Kellegrew. The Governor’s appointment allows him to immediately assume the position he was otherwise elected to begin in January, 2021. Baelly is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $214,601.

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