Friday, July 20, 2018

Governor Brown Appoints 12 Superior Court Judges


Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of 12 California superior court judges, some of particular appellate note:

  • Miguel T. Espinoza, 39, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
  • Alison M. Mackenzie, 42, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. 
  • Sheila O. Recio, 46, of Long Beach, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Orange County Superior Court.
  • Todd D. Irby, 60, of Rocklin, has been named to an interim appointment for a judgeship in the Placer County Superior Court.
  • Jennifer R. Gerard, 42, of Yorba Linda, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court.
  • Timothy J. Hollenhorst, 41, of Riverside, has been named to an interim appointment for a judgeship in the Riverside County Superior Court.
  • David E. Driscoll, 63, of Riverside, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Bernardino County Superior Court.
  • Loren G. Freestone, 47, of San Diego, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Diego County Superior Court.
  • Christine Van Aken, 44, of San Francisco, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Van Aken has been chief of appellate litigation at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office since 2012, where she has served as a deputy city attorney since 2006. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable David H. Souter at the U.S. Supreme Court from 2004 to 2005 and was an associate at Arnold and Porter LLP from 2003 to 2004. Van Aken served as a law clerk for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit from 2002 to 2003.
  • Susan M. Jakubowski, 50, of Santa Clara, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Mateo County Superior Court.
  • Carrie M. Stephens, 54, of Newman, has been named to an interim appointment for a judgeship in the Stanislaus County Superior Court. Stephens has served as a deputy county counsel at the Stanislaus County Counsel's Office since 1999. She has been a member of the U. S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps since 1991, serving as an appellate judge at the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals since 2017 and as a military trial judge at the Navy and Marine Corps Trial Judiciary from 2010 to 2015.
  • Ronda J. McKaig, 45, of Santa Paula, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Ventura County Superior Court.

6 new Justices!!!!!


Governor Brown Appoints 6
 Court of Appeal Justices

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Judge Alison M. Tucher as associate justice, Division Four of the First District Court of Appeal; Judge Halim Dhanidina as associate justice, Division Three, Justice Nora M. Manella as presiding justice, Division Four, Judge Dorothy C. Kim as associate justice, Division Five and Judge Maria E. Stratton as associate justice, Division Eight of the Second District Court of Appeal; and the appointment of Judge Michael J. Raphael as associate justice, Division Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

First District Court of Appeal



Alison M. Tucher, 55, of Berkeley, has been appointed associate justice, Division Four of the First District Court of Appeal. Tucher has served as a judge at the Alameda County Superior Court since 2014. She was a partner at Morrison and Foerster from 2004 to 2014, where she was a litigator from 1998 to 2004. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office from 1995 to 1998 and was assistant director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s White House Security Review Team from 1994 to 1995. Tucher served as a law clerk for the Honorable David H. Souter at the U.S. Supreme Court and for the Honorable William A. Norris at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. Tucher fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Maria P. Rivera. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline. Tucher is a Democrat.

Second District Court of Appeal



Halim Dhanidina, 45, of Irvine, has been appointed associate justice, Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal. Dhanidina has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2012. He served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2012. Dhanidina earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Richard D. Aldrich. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. He will be the first American-Muslim justice and the first South Asian American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal, if confirmed. Dhanidina is a Democrat.





Nora M. Manella, 67, of Los Angeles, has been appointed presiding justice, Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal. Manella has served as an associate justice in Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal since 2006. She was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a judge of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1998 to 2006 and appointed by President Clinton to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1994 to 1998. Manella served as a judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 1992 to 1994 and of the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1990 to 1992. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 1982 to 1990. She was an associate at O’Melveny and Myers in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles from 1978 to 1982. Manella was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution from 1976 to 1978. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit from 1975 to 1976. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law, Order of the Coif and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, Phi Beta Kappa. Effective August 22, 2018, she will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. Manella is a Democrat.



Dorothy C. Kim, 45, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Five of the Second District Court of Appeal. Kim has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2014. She served in several positions at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California Criminal Division from 2001 to 2014, including deputy chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney. Kim was a litigation associate at Irell and Manella LLP from 2000 to 2001 and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Norman H. Stahl at the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit from 1998 to 1999. Kim earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandy R. Kriegler. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. She will be the first Korean American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal, if confirmed. Kim is a Democrat.



Maria E. Stratton, 65, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Eight of the Second District Court of Appeal. Stratton has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2006. She served as Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California from 1993 to 2006 and held several positions at Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle and Sadowsky from 1985 to 1993, including managing partner, partner and associate. She was an associate at Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas from 1984 to 1985. Stratton served as a deputy federal public defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California from 1981 to 1984 and as a law clerk for the Honorable Harry Pregerson at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California and at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1979 to 1981. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Madeleine I. Flier. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. Stratton is a Democrat.

Fourth District Court of Appeal (Div. 2)



Michael J. Raphael, 50, of Los Angeles, has been appointed associate justice, Division Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Raphael has served as a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2012. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 1999 to 2012. Raphael served as investigative counsel in the Office of U.S. Representative Henry Waxman from 1997 to 1999 and was associate counsel at Sidley and Austin from 1994 to 1997. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit from 1993 to 1994. Raphael earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Senior Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez. Raphael is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $228,918.

Stephen Liacouras Named Chief 9th Cir. Mediator

Image result for ninth circuit logoStephen M. Liacouras has been chosen as the next chief circuit mediator of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appointment, which is effective August 1, 2018, was announced today by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas. Mr. Liacouras, who has worked as a circuit mediator since 2001, will succeed Claudia L. Bernard, who has served as chief circuit mediator since 2007. Ms. Bernard is retiring after 29 years as a circuit mediator.

As chief circuit mediator, Mr. Liacouras will oversee a staff of seven mediators and five support staff. Each year, the unit resolves about 1,200 cases which would have otherwise gone through the adjudicative process, thus reducing the workload burden on judges in the nation’s busiest appellate court. More details here.

DJ round-up

Of appellate note in today's DJ:

    Image result for judge manuel real
  • Bounds Nomination to 9th Circuit Halted Moments before Senate Vote. [The Recorder has 3 Takeaways from Failed Ryan Bounds 9th Circuit Nomination, which notes "The Ninth Circuit currently has six vacancies and another set to open later this year when Idaho-based Judge N. Randy Smith plans to take senior status next month."]
  • Longtime Central District Jurist to Take Senior Status, about how Judge Manny Real (age 94) will take senior status November 4. He's been a federal judge for 52 years and "is known for having his rulings frequently reversed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals." "'We've had a few problems with Manny on the Circuit,' the late 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt said to laughter during a 2016 event honoring Real's five decades on the court." ("Real's departure will create the seventh judicial vacancy for the Central District.")
  • Appellate specialist Jens Koepke writes about the recent Cal Supreme Court opinion in Jameson v. Desta in Mandatory Court Reporters for Indigent Litigants. "The court's policy-based decision was a sweeping paean to equal access to justice. But much remains to be seen."
  • The DJ's special supplement on Top Labor & Employment Lawyers 2018 includes some appellate folks: Paul Cane, Mira Hashmall, Norm Pine, Michael Rubin, and Felix Shaif. Wave that appellate flag proudly!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2d DCA pro tem update

  • Judge Brian S. Currey of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division One until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Halim Dhanidina of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Upinder S. Kalra of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Gary I. Micon of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Four until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Curtis A. Kin of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Laura A. Seigle of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Lisa R. Jaskol of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five beginning August 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Gail Ruderman Feuer of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until July 31, 2018
  • Judge John Shepard Wiley, Jr. of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Allan Goodman (Retired) of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Kim Dunning of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until August 31, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New XO for the 6th DCA

SAN JOSE—The California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District is pleased to announce that Susan S. Miller will join the court as its new court executive officer, beginning July 30.
After more than 20 years at the federal courts—the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C. and most recently as chief deputy clerk at the U.S. District Court in Oregon—Miller brings a breadth of both legal and administrative expertise. Effective July 30, all correspondence to the court executive officer should be addressed to Miller.


DJ profiles Justice Dato

In A Really Good Soul, today's DJ profiles 4/1's Justice Dato. The article explains that no one was surprised that he ended up on the Court of Appeal: He clerked fro Supreme Court Justices Rose Bird and Matthew Tobriner, and was a research attorney for a decade to Justice Howard Wiener. “Bill has an aptitude for the law. He can identify issues, and he can see past to the solution as quickly if not more quickly than anybody I’ve ever encountered,” Wiener said. “He has an impeccable value system. He’s very hardworking. He’s nice to be with. He’s never in your face in terms of ‘I’m smarter than you; why don’t you do this?’” Wiener said.
"Off the bench, Dato is an avid baseball fan and dedicated family man. He plays on a club softball team and shares San Diego Padres season tickets. He and his wife, Debbie, met in junior high school. They have four children, including a son who is an attorney in New York and a daughter who begins at Duke University School of Law this fall. Dato also is dedicated to San Diego’s legal community. When he joined the bench in February 2017, Williams invited him to an American Inn of the Court chapter Williams founded that focuses entirely on appellate work. Dato has been a steady presence ever since."
“You listen to everyone. You don’t make up your mind. You don’t make snap judgments about things. You give everybody an opportunity to be heard” 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Appellate practice videos

Image result for watch and learnWith today's announcement that the 11th Circuit will be upgrading to NextGen, it looks like the 7th Circuit will probably be the last Circuit to upgrade (assuming it ever does). But rather than shame the 7th for being slow to upgrade, check out these great short videos on appellate practice:
The Seventh Circuit Bar Association has prepared video segments on the steps in an appeal that will be very helpful to many lawyers. Each topic that you may encounter in appellate practice will have a separate segment and you will be able to listen to experts in the field on each of these matters as your appeal progresses. So if you are preparing for an oral argument, you click on the oral argument segment and you will hear from an appellate practitioner and a Circuit Judge on how to prepare for your argument and what to expect on the day you give it. We hope you will find these segments useful.
Video Segments on Appellate Practice Topics

Monday, July 16, 2018

Skidmore hits the skids

In A Riddle (Almost) as Old as California, Justice Hoffstadt asks "How many judges does it take to finally adjudicate a claim or issue in a case that goes up on appeal?" He then discusses the Cal Supreme Court's recent opinion in Samara v. Matar, which overruled People v. Skidmore (1865)  27 Cal. 287, and provides an answer: "For over 152 years, the answer had been one. In Samara, the court upped it to three (in most situations, at least)."

Also in today's DJ is Moskovitz on Appeals: Appellate Adventures, Chapter 6: "How do I write the procedural facts?" which suggests including when the original complaint was filed, the date of the judgment and notice of appeal, and the location of key procedural documents in the record. Also, tell the procedural story chronologically, starting with the original complaint and ending with the notice of appeal. Don't include over argument (or editorializing) in the statement of facts or procedure.

Friday, July 13, 2018

July 2018 Litigation Update + 9th Cir. nomination

CLA's Litigation Section's Litigation Update July 2018 is now available, thanks to Senior Editor Justice Moore et al. Check it out!

On the federal side of things, POTUS today nominated Eric D. Miller, Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Perkins Coie, for a spot on the 9th Circuit. Yes, he's in Seattle, but he's a California attorney too (CSBN 218416). "He has argued more than 60 appeals, including 16 in the Supreme Court of the United States." Another Perkins appellate lawyer, Katie O'Sullivan has also been nominated for W.D. Wash. [See 9th Cir. news release here]

No appellate sanctions cases today (yet), but you know what's even better? A nice appellate disentitlement case! So enjoy this one here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2d DCA pro tem update (w/dates to the end of September)

The following are currently sitting on assignment:
  • Judge Brian S. Currey of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division One beginning July 16 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Halim Dhanidina of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Upinder S. Kalra of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Gary I. Micon of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Four until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Dorothy C. Kim of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until July 13, 2018
  • Judge Curtis A. Kin of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Laura A. Seigle of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five beginning July 16, 2018 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Lisa R. Jaskol of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five beginning August 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Gail Ruderman Feuer of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until July 31, 2018
  • Judge John Shepard Wiley, Jr. of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until September 30, 2018
  • Judge James Edward Rogan of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until July 13, 2018
  • Judge Allan Goodman (Retired) of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Kim Dunning of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until August 31, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2d DCA pro tem update

The following are currently sitting on assignment:
  • Judge Halim Dhanidina of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Upinder S. Kalra of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Gary I. Micon of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Four until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Dorothy C. Kim of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until July 13, 2018
  • Judge Curtis A. Kin of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Laura A. Seigle of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five beginning July 16, 2018 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Lisa R. Jaskol of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five beginning August 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018
  • Judge Gail Ruderman Feuer of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until July 31, 2018
  • Judge John Shepard Wiley, Jr. of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until July 31, 2018
  • Judge James Edward Rogan of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until July 13, 2018
  • Judge Allan Goodman (Retired) of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until July 31, 2018
  • Judge Kim Dunning of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until August 31, 2018

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Who will be last to upgrade?

All the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals are using Next/Gen e-filing, except the 5th, 7th, and 11th Circuits. The 5th Circuit recently announced it would be upgrading sometime soon. So who will be last? [7/17 update -- perhaps in response to blog-shaming(?!), the 11th Circuit just announced that it will be upgrading to NextGen on Sept. 17, 2018!]

The LA Law Library will be offering Appeals: Making Your Case & Persuading the Court on July 12 from noon to 1 p.m. Kudos to SoCal appellate specialists Tyna Orren and David Alexrad for presenting this free course to the public.

Registration is now open for the California Lawyers Association Annual Meeting in September in San Diego. The keynote luncheon speaker will be retired Justice Kathryn Werdegar. The program list looks great, and includes Appellate Issues in Trusts & Estates Matters and How to Win a Writ Petition (Criminal or Civil). More details here.

9th Circuit Conference in Anaheim

Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference to Offer Varied Educational Program

The 2018 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference will be held July 23-26, 2018, at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, California. The conference is authorized by law “for the purpose of considering the business of the courts and advising means of improving the administration of justice within the circuit.” 28 U.S.C. § 333.

Image result for happiest place on earthThe conference provides an exceptional educational program and facilitates circuit governance through approximately 60 business meetings. Conferees include judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. district courts and U.S. bankruptcy courts of the circuit, along with lawyers practicing in these courts, court staff and special guests. For space and security reasons, attendance is by invitation.

The theme of the conference is “From Blockchain to Free Speech: At the Intersection of Independence and Leadership.” The program includes segments focusing on the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and how untraceable transactions made with these systems allow criminals to buy and sell illegal drugs, weapons and other illicit materials on the “dark web.” Other sessions consider threats to free speech, the legal rights of athletes and entertainers, the legality of information “leaks,” and the causes and responses to the opioid crisis across the United States.

The opening session of the conference will include welcoming remarks from Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas; presentations of professional awards; recognition of the student winners of the 2018 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest; a salute to the outgoing director of the Federal Judicial Center; and memorial tributes to distinguished jurists.

Retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States will attend the conference and participate in the “Conversation with the Justice” segment that traditionally closes the program.