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Born: June 24, 1947Appointed: Oct. 22, 1996, by WilsonPrevious work of note: Contra Costa County Superior Court judge 1994-96. Private civil practice with Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, 1977-94. Justice Department civil division, 1972-77.Law degree: University of San Diego School of Law (1972)Notable opinions: People v. Metters, 61 Cal.App.4th 1489, Morlife v. Perry, 56 Cal.App.4th 1514, Hamilton v. Laine, 57 Cal.App.4th 885.Nace Ruvolo hit the ground running as an appellate justice, issing 19 published opinions in less than two years. He’s made more than his fair share of cutting-edge law, taking head-on a number of sticky civil and criminal justice issues.And as sometimes happens, that approach has caught the eye of the California Supreme Court, which already has granted review in five of his cases.A former managing partner of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon’s Walnut Creek office, Ruvolo has been on the fast track as a judge, going from private practice to a superior court judgeship to the First District in less than three years. He has won high marks from civil litigators, who say he is making good use of his extensive knowledge of complex commercial litigation. One civil appellate specialist says Division Two is now the best division on the First District “because, whether you win or lose, you feel you have been heard.”On the criminal side, Ruvolo has frequently taken a hard conservative line, earning dissents from the liberal J. Anthony Kline on three occasions. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing two such decisions, one involving the removal of holdout jurors and the other firearm enhancements.Ruvolo brings intellectual energy and a strong work ethic to the job. He is known for bringing the parties’ briefs — not just the staff’s calendar memo — to oral argument.His Division Two has the largest backlog of any on the First District, with a median of 242 days from briefing to decision for civil cases, although Ruvolo hasn’t had much time to do anything about it.

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