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Born: Sept. 6, 1953 Appointed: Oct. 12, 1995, by Wilson Previous work of note: Kern County Superior Court judge 1991-95 (Wilson). Bakersfield Municpal Court judge, 1986-1991 (Deukmejian). Kern County Deputy DA 1981-86. Private civil practice, 1980-81. Law degree: UC-Davis law school (1980) The only woman currently serving on the Fifth District Court of Appeal, Rebecca Wiseman is shaking things up — a little — at the staid Fresno-based appellate court. In June of 1998, when the court upheld a search warrant even though the magistrate who approved it was the father of the sheriff’s deputy who presented it, Wiseman issued a scorching dissent. She suggested the ruling could undermine the citizens’ “confidence that when their homes or businesses are searched by law enforcement, someone without an ax to grind has authorized the proceedings.” A former deputy DA, Wiseman has ruled against defendants in most of her published opinions, but it is clear she is not an automatic vote for the prosecution. Wiseman also has brought some rhetorical zip to civil justice issues, such as a hostile environment employment case that was built on such minor grievances as a supervisor requiring a worker not to put his feet up on his desk. “Anyone who has ever worked in an office or, for that matter, been a school child on the playground,” Wiseman began her opinion, “knows that petty differences arise which cannot always be resolved without hurt feelings.” Further on Wiseman cracked, “Parenthetically, we observe it is seldom a good sign for a plaintiff when counsel must defend a motion for summary judgment by submitting plaintiff’s own declaration to impeach plaintiff’s previous deposition testimony.” Once an aspiring TV journalist, Wiseman is active in educating the public about the appellate courts. She was the first woman ever to serve as a Kern County Superior Court Judge, and the second ever on the Fifth District. POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Wiseman and her husband, Kenneth, donated some $9,000 to an array of mostly Repubican statewide candidates between 1990 and 1998. The amounts include a total of $3,600 to Wilson for his 1990 and ’94 gubernatorial campaigns, $2,075 for Dan Lungren’s 1990 and ’94 AG campaigns, $550 to Republican Assembly candidate Donald Rogers, and $300 or less to Republican legislative candidates Curt Pringle, Pauline Larwood, Charles Poochigian (Wilson’s former appointments secretary), Bill Berryhill, Robert Prenter, Roy Ashburn, Ken Maddy, B.T. Collins and Trice Harvey. Also receiving contributions were two Democratic candidates for controller in 1994, Rusty Areias and Kathleen Connell ($250 each), Democratic Senate candidate Jim Costa ($100 in 1993 and $200 in 1996), and Secretary of State Bill Jones ($200 in 1995).

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