18 Superior Court Judges

Column 1: Ryan I. Wells, Susan Ser, and Isabel Apkarian.

Column 2: Alfred A. Coletta, Lowynn Y. Young, and Carmen R. Luege.

Column 3: Warren Masami Kato, Jennifer Jean O'Keefe, and George A. Acero.

Column 4: Dena M. Coggins, Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo, and Jessica M. Delgado.

Column 5: Jonathan Robert Hayes, Douglas Kent Mann, and Troye Kendall Shaffer.

Column 6: Augustin R. Jimenez, Erin E. Guy Castillo, and Marcus L. Mumford.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on March 25 the appointment of 18 California superior court judges, which include one in Fresno County, four in Los Angeles County, one in Monterey County, two in Orange County, four in Sacramento County, two in San Bernardino County, one in San Joaquin County, one in Santa Clara County, one in Sonoma County and one in Stanislaus County.

Fresno County Superior Court:

  • Ryan I. Wells, 40, of Fresno, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Fresno County Superior Court. Wells has served as a Senior Deputy District Attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney's Office since 2012. He served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office from 2010 to 2012 and was a Legal Editor at Lexis Nexis from 2009 to 2010. Wells was a Law Clerk at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in 2008. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Wells is a Democrat.

Los Angeles County Superior Court:

  • Alfred A. Coletta, 65, of Rossmoor, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Coletta has served as a Deputy District Attorney in multiple divisions at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office since 1988. He served as Deputy County Counsel at the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office in 1988. Coletta earned a Juris Doctor degree from Western State College of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lisa H. Cole. Coletta is a Democrat.
  • Warren Masami Kato, 59, of Rancho Palos Verdes, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Kato has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 1999. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne College of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Edmund W. Clarke, Jr. Kato is registered without party preference.
  • Susan Ser, 50, of Santa Clarita, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Ser has served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office since 1999. She was an Associate at Schaffer and Baumer from 1998 to 1999 and at Parker Stanbury from 1997 to 1998. Ser earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School Los Angeles. She fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Vincent H. Okamoto. Ser is registered without party preference.
  • Lowynn Y. Young, 52, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Young has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office since 1998. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Songhai Miguda-Armstead. Young is a Democrat.

Monterey County Superior Court:

  • Jennifer Jean O'Keefe, 43, of Salinas, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Monterey County Superior Court. O’Keefe has served as Chief Deputy Public Defender at the Monterey County Office of the Public Defender since 2017, where she has served as a Deputy Public Defender since 2010. She has been a Professor at the Monterey College of Law since 2015. O’Keefe served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Fresno County Office of the Public Defender from 2005 to 2010. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Catholic University of America School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Efren N. Iglesia. O’Keefe is a Democrat.

Orange County Superior Court:

  • Isabel Apkarian, 44, of Newport Beach, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Apkarian has served as a Commissioner at the Orange County Superior Court since 2021. She served as Senior Deputy Public Defender at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office from 2003 to 2020. She was a Budget Management Research Analyst in the Orange County Executive’s Office from 1998 to 1999. Apkarian earned a Juris Doctor degree from Whittier Law School. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Franz E. Miller. Apkarian is a Democrat.
  • Carmen R. Luege, 62, of Santa Ana, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Luege has served as a Commissioner at the Orange County Superior Court since 2009. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California from 1992 to 2009 and was an Associate at O'Melveny & Myers from 1984 to 1990. Luege earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Geoffrey T. Glass. Luege is registered without party preference.

Sacramento County Superior Court:

  • George A. Acero, 45, of West Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Acero has been Owner of Acero Law since 2016. He was a Partner at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP from 2011 to 2016, where he was Senior Counsel from 2008 to 2011. Acero was an Associate at Porter Scott from 2003 to 2008. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Raoul M. Thorbourne. Acero is registered without party preference.
  • Dena M. Coggins, 42, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Coggins has served as an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings since 2018. She was Supervising Attorney and Hearing Officer at the California Victim Compensation Board from 2017 to 2018 and an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings from 2015 to 2017. Coggins served as a Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2013 to 2015. She was an Associate at Downey Brand LLP from 2012 to 2013 and at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2007 to 2012. Coggins earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David W. Abbott. Coggins is a Democrat.
  • Jonathan Robert Hayes, 45, of Sacramento, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Hayes has been a Partner at Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP since 2013, where he was an Associate from 2004 to 2013 and a Law Clerk from 2000 to 2004. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Alan G. Perkins. Hayes is a Democrat.
  • Augustin R. Jimenez, 67, of Carmichael, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Jimenez has served as Deputy General Counsel at the California State Transportation Agency since 2013. He served in several positions at the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2013, including Deputy Secretary and General Counsel and Special Counsel to the Secretary. Jimenez was a Partner at Barbosa Garcia LLP from 1997 to 1999 and Senior Associate at Barbosa, Garcia & Barnes from 1992 to 1996. He served as a Legislative Analyst at the City of Los Angeles, Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst from 1989 to 1991 and as an Assistant City Attorney at the Seattle City Attorney’s Office from 1981 to 1987. Jimenez earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington School of Law and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eugene L. Balonon. Jimenez is a Democrat.

San Bernardino County Superior Court:

  • Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo, 38, of Riverside, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Garcia-Rodrigo has served as a Commissioner at the Riverside County Superior Court since 2018. She was an Adjunct Professor at the University of La Verne College of Law from 2018 to 2020 and Of Counsel at CKB Vienna LLP from 2017 to 2018. Garcia-Rodrigo was an Attorney and Chief Financial Officer at Rodrigo Law Firm PC from 2011 to 2018 and an Associate at Betty Auton-Beck, Professional Law Corporation from 2008 to 2011 and at the Law Offices of Vincent B. Garcia & Associates from 2004 to 2008. Garcia-Rodrigo earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of La Verne College of Law and a Master of Public Administration degree and Master of Science degree in leadership and management from the University of La Verne. She fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Garcia-Rodrigo is the first Latina Judge ever appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court. She is a Democrat.
  • Douglas Kent Mann, 56, of Claremont, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Mann has been a Partner and Attorney at Walker & Mann LLP since 2007. He was a Partner and Attorney at Snyder, Walker & Mann LLP from 2006 to 2007 and at Elliot, Snyder & Reid LLP and predecessor firms from 1992 to 2006. Mann earned a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Mann is a Republican.

San Joaquin County Superior Court:

  • Erin E. Guy Castillo, 40, of Stockton, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the San Joaquin County Superior Court. Guy Castillo has served as a Commissioner at the San Joaquin County Superior Court since 2018. She was a Partner and Attorney at Parish Guy Castillo PC from 2014 to 2018. Guy Castillo was an Associate at William H. Parish PC from 2009 to 2014 and at Dowling, Aaron & Keeler Inc. from 2007 to 2009. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William D. Johnson. Guy Castillo is a Democrat.

Santa Clara County Superior Court:

  • Jessica M. Delgado, 52, of Santa Cruz, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Delgado has served as an Attorney at the Santa Clara County Alternate Defender’s Office since 2009 and was an Attorney in the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office from 2001 to 2009. She was an Attorney at the Monterey County Public Defender’s Office from 1999 to 2001 and was a Research Attorney at the Law Offices of Paul Meltzer from 1998 to 1999. Delgado served as a Law Clerk at the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office from 1997 to 1998 and in the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California in 1997. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Risë R. Pichon. Delgado is a Democrat.

Sonoma County Superior Court:

  • Troye Kendall Shaffer, 47, of Windsor, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Sonoma County Superior Court. Shaffer has served as a Commissioner at the Sonoma County Superior Court since 2019. She served as Chief Deputy District Attorney at the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office from 2015 to 2019, where she was a Deputy District Attorney from 2000 to 2015. Shaffer was an Associate at Bowles and Verna LLP from 2000 to 2001. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Shaffer fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert S. Boyd. Shaffer is a Democrat.

Stanislaus County Superior Court:

  • Marcus L. Mumford, 51, of Modesto, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Stanislaus County Superior Court. Mumford has served as a Deputy Public Defender at the Stanislaus County Public Defender’s Office since 2001. He was a Sole Practitioner from 2000 to 2001 and a Law Clerk at the San Diego County Superior Court from 1997 to 2000. Mumford earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He fills the vacancy of a new position created on September 24, 2019. Mumford is a Democrat.

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

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