SAN FRANCISCO—Six public hearings have been scheduled by the Commission on Judicial Appointments for August 23, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom, 300 South Spring Street in Los Angeles, to consider the following appointments by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.:

9-9:30 a.m.:
 
Justice Nora M. Manella, as Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four (Los Angeles)
 
 
Manella

 

9:50-10:20 a.m.:
 
Judge Dorothy C. Kim, as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Five (Los Angeles) 
kim

 

10:40-11:10 a.m.:
 
Judge Halim Dhanidina, as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three (Los Angeles)
dhanidina

 

11:30 a.m. to noon:
 
Judge Maria E. Stratton, as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Eight (Los Angeles)
stratton

 

1:30-2 p.m.
 
Judge Alison M. Tucher, as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four (San Francisco)
tucher

 

2:20-2:50 p.m.
 
Judge Michael J. Raphael, as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two (Riverside) 
raphael

 

 

The hearings will be webcast live here.

The state Constitution specifies that a gubernatorial nomination or appointment to the Supreme Court or a Court of Appeal is “effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.”

The commission consists of the chief justice of California, the attorney general of California, and the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal of the affected district or, if there are two or more presiding justices, the one who has presided longest or, for a nomination or appointment to the Supreme Court, the presiding justice who has presided the longest on any Court of Appeal.

Appointee Biographies

Justice Nora M. Manella would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein. Manella has served as an associate justice in Division Four of the Second District Court of Appeal since 2006. She was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to serve as a judge of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (1998-2006), and prior to that, as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (1994-1998). Manella served as a judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 1992 to 1994 and of the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1990 to 1992. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 1982 to 1990. She was an associate at O’Melveny and Myers in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles from 1978 to 1982. Manella was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution from 1976 to 1978. She served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit from 1975 to 1976. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California School of Law, Order of the Coif and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, Phi Beta Kappa.

Judge Dorothy C. Kim would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandy R. Kriegler. If confirmed, she would be the first Korean-American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal. Kim has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2014. She served in several positions in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 2001 to 2014, including as deputy chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney. Kim was a litigation associate at Irell and Manella LLP from 2000 to 2001 and served as a law clerk for Judge Norman H. Stahl of the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit from 1998 to 1999. Kim earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. 

Judge Halim Dhanidina would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Richard D. Aldrich. If confirmed, he would be the first Muslim justice and the first South Asian-American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal. Dhanidina has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2012. He served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2012. Dhanidina earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College.

Judge Maria E. Stratton would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Madeleine I. Flier. Stratton has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2006. She served as federal public defender for the Central District of California from 1993 to 2006 and held several positions at Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle and Sadowsky from 1985 to 1993, including managing partner, partner, and associate. She was an associate at Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas from 1984 to 1985. Stratton served as a deputy federal public defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California from 1981 to 1984 and as a law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 1979 to 1981. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.

Judge Alison M. Tucher would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Maria P. Rivera. Tucher has served as an Alameda County Superior Court judge since 2014. She was a partner at Morrison and Foerster from 2004 to 2014, where she was a litigator from 1998 to 2004. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office from 1995 to 1998, and was assistant director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s White House Security Review Team from 1994 to 1995. Tucher served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and Judge William A. Norris at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. 

Judge Michael J. Raphael would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst. Raphael has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2012. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 1999 to 2012. Raphael served as investigative counsel in the Office of U.S. Representative Henry Waxman from 1997 to 1999 and was associate counsel at Sidley and Austin from 1994 to 1997. He served as a law clerk for Judge Nathaniel R. Jones at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit from 1993 to 1994. Raphael earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University. 

Testimony and Comment

Persons who wish to testify or comment on the appointments must submit their information for receipt by the commission no later than 5 p.m. on August 16.

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.

The commission’s address is:
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

The guidelines for the Commission on Judicial Appointments are published as an appendix to the California Rules of Court and are available on the California Courts website.