Governor Newsom announces judicial appointments 3.14.22


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the appointment of 17 Superior Court judges, including two in Fresno County; five in Los Angeles County; one in Merced County; three in Orange County; one in San Benito County; three in San Diego County; one in San Francisco County; and one in Ventura County.

Fresno County Superior Court

Stephanie L. Negin, 40, of Clovis, has been appointed as a judge of the Fresno County Superior Court. Negin has served as a senior defense attorney with the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office since 2007. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Negin fills the position created by the retirement of Judge Debra J. Kazanjian. She is a Democrat.

Virna L. Santos, 56, of Fresno, has been appointed as a judge of the Fresno County Superior Court. Santos has been a sole-practice attorney since 2014. She served as Regional Director for Judicial Studies and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training at overseas from 2011 to 2014 and was Senior Legal Counsel seconded to the United States Embassy in Bogota, Colombia from 2007 to 2011. Santos served as Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California from 1995 to 2007 and Clerk to the Honorable Gilberto Gierbolini in the United States. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 1995. She served as Assistant Attorney General in the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1990 to 1993. Santos earned a JD from Harvard Law School. She fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Gary D. Hoff. Santos is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Nicholas F. Daum, 47, of Los Angeles, has been appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Daum has been a partner and partner at Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP since 2009. He was a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP from 2004 to 2009 and served as law clerk for the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Daum earned a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School and a Master of Arts in History from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Anthony J. Mohr. Daum is a democrat.

Mark A. Davis, 57, of Pasadena, has been appointed as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Davis has been an independent practitioner since 2003. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. Davis fills the position left vacant by the retirement of judge Gary J. Ferrari. He’s a Democrat.

Dean J. Kitchens, 69, of Pasadena, has been appointed as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Kitchens has been a partner at Gibson Dunn since 1986 and has held several positions there since 1978, including general counsel and partner. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Kitchens fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Clifford L. Klein. He’s a Democrat.

Tiana J. Murillo, 42, of Pasadena, has been appointed as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Murillo has served as an assistant county councilor in the Los Angeles County Council Office since 2021, where she has held several positions, including assistant county councilor in 2019, deputy senior county councilor in 2017, and assistant county councilor in 2014 to 2017. She served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in the Los Angeles County Chief Executive’s Office from 2019 to 2021 and Chief of Staff for the Los Angeles County Probation Department from 2018 to 2019. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School. Murillo fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Norman P. Tarle. She is a Democrat.

Bradley S. Phillips, 68, of Los Angeles, has been appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Phillips has been a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP since 1984 and was a partner there from 1979 to 1983. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable William Matthew Byrne, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. from 1978 to 1979. Phillips earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John A. Torribio. He’s a Democrat.

Merced County Superior Court

Jennifer O. Trimble, 46, of Turlock, has been appointed as a Merced County Superior Court judge. Trimble has served as Deputy Chief County Councilor in the Merced County Council Office since 2018. She was a partner at Perry & Associates in 2018 and a solicitor at Dependency Legal Services from 2013 to 2018. Trimble was a solicitor at Trimble & Trimble, Solicitor from 2002 in 2013. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Trimble fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Justice Jeanne E. Schechter. She is registered without party preference.

Superior Court of Orange County

Adrianne E. Marshack, 44, of Irvine, has been appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Orange County. Marshack has been a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP since 2021. She was a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP from 2016 to 2021 and was a partner there from 2009 to 2014. She was an associate at Greenberg Gross LLP from 2015 to 2016 and a partner at Katz Yoon LLP from 2014 to 2015. Marshack was a partner at Hodel Briggs Winter LLP from 2008 to 2009 and Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2007 to 2008. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California School of Law in Los Angeles. . Marshack fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Sheila Fell. She is a Democrat.

Yolanda V. Torres, 48, of Huntington Beach, has been appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Orange County. Torres has been a solo practitioner since 2008. She was an adjunct professor at Western State University College of Law from 2017 to 2021. Torres was a partner in the law firm of Patrick A. McCall from 2003 to 2008, at Hughes & Sullivan from 2002 in 2003 and at the law firm Alexandra Leichter in 2002. She served as a legal clerk in the Orange County District Attorney’s office in 2002. Torres earned a JD from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Mark Millard. Torres is registered with no party preference.

Fernando Valle, 44, of Santa Ana, was appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Orange County. Valle has served as a Senior Assistant Public Defender with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office since 2021, where he has held multiple positions since 2004. He was an intern with the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office from 2003 to 2004. Valle earned a doctor of law degree. from the University of California, Davis School of Law. He fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Gary L. Moorhead. Valle is a Democrat.

San Benito County Superior Court

Patrick K. Palacios, 57, of Hollister, was appointed as a San Benito County Superior Court judge. Palacios has served as the San Benito County Superior Court Commissioner since 2020. He served as Sole Practitioner from 2015 to 2020 and served as an Assistant District Attorney in the San Benito County Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2014. He was associated with the law firms of John E. Skeath from 2003 to 2007 and a sole practitioner from 1994 to 2003. Palacios was an attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1991 to 1994 and a partner at Rosenblum, Parish & Isaacs from 1989 to 1991. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Palacios fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Steven R. Sanders. He’s a Democrat.

San Diego County Superior Court

Nadia J. Keilani, 49, of San Diego, has been appointed as a judge of the San Diego County Superior Court. Keilani has served as a commissioner of the San Diego County Superior Court since 2019 and served as staff counsel there from 1999-2019. From 1998 to 1999. Keilani earned a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law. It fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roger W. Krauel. Keilani is a Democrat.

Sherry M. Thompson-Taylor, 57, of Chula Vista, has been appointed as a judge of the San Diego County Superior Court. Thompson-Taylor has served as an assistant district attorney in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office since 1995, where she has held several positions including division chief, deputy chief and team leader. She served as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Angelic Entertainment from 1999 to 2000. Thompson-Taylor earned a JD from the University of Arizona School of Law. She fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Judge Margie G. Woods. Thompson-Taylor is a Democrat.

Leonard N. Trinh, 41, of San Diego, has been appointed as a judge of the San Diego County Superior Court. Trinh has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office since 2006. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2005. Trinh earned a Doctor of Laws degree from the California Western School of Law. He fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Justice Timothy M. Casserly. He’s a Democrat.

San Francisco County Superior Court

Patrick S. Thompson, 54, of San Francisco, has been appointed as a judge of the San Francisco County Superior Court. Thompson has been a partner at Perkins Coie LLP since 2015. He was a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP from 2005 to 2015. Thompson was a partner and partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP from 1992 to 2005. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard. Faculty of Law. Thompson fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Newton J. Lam. He is registered without party preference.

Ventura County Superior Court

Kristi J. Peariso, 48, of Camarillo, has been appointed as a judge of the Ventura County Superior Court. Peariso has served as a commissioner of the Superior Court of Ventura County since 2022 and has been practicing alone since 2007. She was a professor of law at the Southern California Institute of Law from 2008 to 2017. Peariso served as an assistant public defender at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office from 2000 to 2007, to the Santa Barbara County Office of the Public Defender in 2000, and to the Mendocino County Office of the Public Defender from 1998 to 2000. She earned a JD from the California Western School of Law. Peariso fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kevin J. McGee. She is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $225,074.

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