On Dec 23, 2016, Governor Brown announced 26 appointments to 13 superior courts and 2 state courts of appeal. These appointments fill vacant judicial positions (except for 2 commissioner positions converted to judgeships in San Diego County in Oct 2016). 

Three appointments elevate existing judges to positions on the Court of Appeal:

  • San Diego County Superior Court Judge William S. Dato, appointed to Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division 1
  • Riverside County Superior Court Judge Richard T. Fields, appointed to Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division 2
  • Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kathleen A. Meehan, appointed to Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District


Confirmation hearings for appointments to the appellate courts will be scheduled by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. 

More details about these appointments are available on Governor Brown's website

Judicial Needs in California Courts
Securing resources to meet the workload-based need for new judgeships has been a top priority for the Judicial Council for many years. The 2016 Judicial Needs Assessment estimates 189 new judgeships are needed to meet the needs of the public. And, as Judicial Council research staff reported to council in Oct 2016, that number is far too low as new laws and criminal justice reform measures are expanding court work and caseloads. (Listen)