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Gov. Brown appoints three judges to Sacramento Superior Court

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks about his pension reform plan as it gets a second look from a two-house legislative committee on public pensions. Brown on Friday appointed 33 superior court judges in California.
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks about his pension reform plan as it gets a second look from a two-house legislative committee on public pensions. Brown on Friday appointed 33 superior court judges in California. Sacramento Bee File

Gov. Jerry Brown has announced the appointment of 33 new California superior court judges, including three in Sacramento County and one each in Butte, Lake and Lassen counties.

Named on Friday to the Sacramento Superior Court are Lauri A. Damrell, 39, and Jill H. Talley, 48, both of Sacramento, and Shama H. Mesiwala, 43, of Davis, according to a Governor’s Office news release.

Damrell has been a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Suttcliffe LLP since 2016. She previously was an associate with the firm for 10 years. Damrell earned a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael J. Virga.

Talley has served as chief counsel at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services since 2014, and has been an adjunct professor at Lincoln Law School of Sacramento since 2012. She served in several positions with the Office of the Attorney General from 2002 to 2014, including supervising deputy attorney general and deputy attorney general. She also has served as an associate and partner in area law firms. Talley earned a juris doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert C. Hight.

Mesiwala has served as a Sacramento Superior Court commissioner and as a visiting lecturer of law at the UC Davis School of Law. She was a judicial attorney at the 3rd District Court of Appeal from 2004 to 2017, where she served as a senior judicial attorney for Judge Ronald B. Robie from 2006 to 2017. Mesiwala is a graduate of the UC Davis School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, San Diego. She is co-founder of the South Asian Bar Association of Sacramento and is the first South Asian American judge appointed to the Sacramento Superior Court, the news release said. She fills a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position in October 2016.

Elsewhere in the region, Jesus A. Rodriguez, 38, of Chico, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Butte County Superior Court. He has had his own law practice since 2007 and was previously an associate at the law office of Dane. A. Cameron. Rodriguez earned a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James F. Reilley.

J. David Markham, 48, of Lakeport, has been appointed to the Lake County Superior Court. He has had his own law practice since 2004 and previously was an associate at Alvord and Ewing. Markham served as a deputy district attorney with the Lake County District Attorney’s Office in 2001 and 2002. He earned a juris doctor degree from the Empire College School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard C. Martin.

Mark R. Nareau, 61, of Susanville, has been appointed to the Lassen County Superior Court. He has had his own law practice since 1992. Nareau served as Lassen County’s district attorney in 1991 and 1992 and was a special prosecutor for the Lassen County Prison Persecution Program from 1987 to 1998. He earned juris doctor and bachelor of laws degrees from the Western State University College of Law. Nareau fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michele Verderosa

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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