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Amid considerable grousing about budget cuts in the state’s court system, Governor Jerry Brown has announced the appointment of eleven new California Superior Court judges, two from San Diego, Courthouse News Service is reporting.

Patricia Guerrero, a graduate of UC Berkely and Stanford, takes the seat of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who has moved on to a federal court position. Guerrero has worked with the business law firm Latham & Watkins since 1997, with the exception of a stint in 2002 and 2003 working with the U.S. Attorney’s Southern District of California office.

Joining her as a new appointee is Michael J. Popkins, a Villanova and University of San Diego School of Law grad. Popkins spent seven years as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles before taking an equivalent position at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office in 1985, where he has served since.

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Visduh May 23, 2013 @ 8:14 p.m.

A career public defender is now on the bench? That should prove interesting indeed.


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