News Release

Commission to Consider Appointments to Courts of Appeal

The Commission on Judicial Appointments will consider appointments to appellate courts in San Francisco and Los Angeles on May 14.
Mar 28, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO—The Commission on Judicial Appointments will hold public hearings on May 14 starting at 9 a.m. to consider three appellate court appointments by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The commission will consider the following appointments during hearings held in the Supreme Court Courtroom, located on the fourth floor of 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco:

  • Justice Gonzalo Martinez as presiding justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Seven (Los Angeles)
  • Judge Natalie P. Stone as associate justice of the Second Appellate District, Division Seven (Los Angeles)
  • Judge Tara Desautels as associate justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Two (San Francisco)

Seating in the courtroom will be limited—with some overflow seating also available in the Milton Marks Auditorium. 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 BontaPresiding Justice Jim Humes (for the First Appellate District hearing) and Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert (for the Second Appellate District hearings).

Appointee Biographies

Justice Gonzalo Martinez would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss. Justice Martinez served as deputy judicial appointments secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom from 2019 to 2023. He served as a deputy solicitor general in the California Attorney General’s Office from 2017 to 2019 and was a partner in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group at Squire Patton Boggs from 2007 to 2017 and in 2019. Justice Martinez served as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2010 and at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California in 2007. He was an associate at Coblentz Patch Duffy and Bass LLP from 2005 to 2007 and at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2003 to 2005. Justice Martinez earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts degree in English from Stanford University.

Judge Natalie P. Stone would fill the vacancy created pending confirmation of Justice Gonzalo Martinez’s appointment as presiding justice of the Second District Court of Appeal. Judge Stone has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2015. She was an appellate judicial attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal from 2010 to 2015. Judge Stone was an associate at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP from 1999 to 2010 and served as a law clerk for Judge A. Wallace Tashima at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1998 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Judge Tara Desautels would fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Justice Therese Stewart as presiding justice. She has served as an Alameda County Superior Court judge since 2010. Judge Desautels was a senior associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP from 2005 to 2010. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office from 1997 to 2005. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco. 

Testimony and Comment

Requests to testify or written comments on the appointment must be received by the commission no later than 5 p.m. on May 7, 2024 (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 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.