Commission to Consider Appointments to Courts of Appeal
SAN FRANCISCO—The Commission on Judicial Appointments will hold a public hearing on April 7 starting at 2 p.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom—located on the fourth floor of 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco—to consider the appointments of:
- Justice Tracie L. Brown as presiding justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four (San Francisco)
- Judge Julia Kelety as an associate justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One (San Diego)
- Judge Jose S. Castillo as an associate justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One (San Diego)
Seating in the courtroom will be limited—with some overflow seating also available in the Milton Marks Auditorium—and any mask requirements will be enforced as may be required by state and local health directives in effect at the time of the hearing. The hearing will be webcast live on the California Courts Newsroom.
The state Constitution specifies that a gubernatorial appointment to the Court of Appeal is effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
The commission members who will consider the appointment are California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero (Chair), California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Presiding Justice Jim Humes (for Justice Brown’s hearing), or Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez (for Judge Castillo and Judge Kelety’s hearings).
Justice Tracie L. Brown would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Stuart R. Pollak. Justice Brown has served as an associate justice since 2018. Justice Brown served as a San Francisco County Superior Court judge from 2013 to 2018. She served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California from 2002 to 2013 and was an associate at Cooley Godward Kronish LLP from 1997 to 2002. Justice Brown served as a law clerk for Judge M. Margaret McKeown at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1998 to 1999 and was an associate at Morrison and Foerster LLP from 1996 to 1997. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Judge Julia Kelety would fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero to the California Supreme Court. Judge Kelety has served as a San Diego County Superior Court judge since 2003. Judge Kelety was a partner and associate at Wiggins & Kelety LLP from 1997 to 2003. She served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California from 1990 to 1997 and was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1986 to 1990. Judge Kelety served as a law clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1985 to 1986. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School.
Judge Jose S. Castillo would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Judith L. Haller. Judge Castillo has served as a San Diego County Superior Court judge since 2020. Judge Castillo served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California from 2010 to 2020. He served as a staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2007 to 2010 and was an adjunct professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law from 2009 to 2010. Castillo served as a law clerk for Judge Micaela Alvarez at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas from 2006 to 2007. Judge Castillo earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Testimony and Comment
Requests to testify or written comments on the appointment must be received by the commission no later than 5 p.m. March 30 (five court days prior to hearing). Anyone wishing to testify before the commission must state that request in writing and include a summary of the facts on which any testimony or opinion will be based.
Submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org are strongly encouraged. Hard copies are not required.
If you would like to mail your request, you may also reach the commission at:
Commission on Judicial Appointments
c/o Chief Justice of California
Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, California 94102
Attention: Secretary to the Commission
Guidelines for the Commission on Judicial Appointments are published in the appendix to the California Rules of Court and are posted on the California Courts website.