News Release

Commission Confirms Appointments to Courts of Appeal

Reports on the nominees can be found here. The webcast of these confirmation hearings will be posted to the California Courts YouTube channel shortly.

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments, announced the commission today confirmed two nominations to the California Courts of Appeal in Sacramento and Santa Ana. 

The hearings were held virtually. 

The nominees were confirmed by unanimous vote of the three-member commission, which includes Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (Chair); Attorney General Rob Bonta; and either Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez (for Judge Sanchez), or Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye (for Judge Earl).

Those confirmed were:

  • Judge Maurice Sanchez, as Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three (Santa Ana)
  • Judge Laurie M. Earl, as Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal (Sacramento)

Appointee Biographies

Judge Maurice Sanchez fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Raymond J. Ikola. He has served as an Orange County Superior Court judge since 2018. Judge Sanchez was a partner at Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough (2017-2018) and at Baker and Hostetler (2005-2017). He was a shareholder at Alvarado, Smith and Sanchez (1993-2005) and managing counsel at Mazda Motor of America Inc. (1991-1993). Judge Sanchez was senior counsel at Hyundai Motor America (1986-1991) and an associate at Rutan and Tucker (1981-1986). He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Judge Laurie M. Earl fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice M. Kathleen Butz. She has served as a Sacramento County Superior Court judge since 2005. Judge Earl was senior assistant inspector general at the Sacramento County Office of Inspector General (2004-2005) and a deputy district attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office (1995-2004). She served as an assistant public defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office (1989-1995). Judge Earl earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Lincoln Law School of Sacramento.