Among his latest round of six judicial picks, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday tapped a pair of top-ranking government lawyers for the state’s trial bench.
In the Alameda County, the governor appointed Colin Bowen, the supervising deputy city attorney in the litigation division of the Oakland City Attorney’s Office since 2015. Bowen was a founding partner at criminal defense firm Clay & Bowen LLP from 2007 to 2013 and served more than a dozen years prior to that in the Alameda County Public Defender’s office.
In Orange County, the governor appointed Sandy Leal, a deputy chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Leal has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the office since 2004.
The governor once again looked to his own staff to fill a vacancy, something he’s done with some frequency in the waning days of his term in office. On Monday, the governor named Tom Dyer, his chief deputy legislative affairs secretary, to the Yolo County Superior Court. Dyer was previously legislative director at the California Department of Finance from 2012 to 2015 and at the California Department of Personnel Administration from 2010 to 2012.
The latest round of appointments would appear to have the number of empty trial court seats Brown has to fill in the single digits. According to the Judicial Council of California, there were 32 vacant superior court judgeships as of Nov. 30. The governor has named a total of 25 new judges to the bench since Dec. 7.
Governor Brown’s full announcement is posted here: