Governor Jerry Brown. Credit: Jason Doiy/ The Recorder

Five days before he leaves office, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday made the final judicial appointments of his term in office, filling 12 vacancies in California’s trial courts, including six from the Bay Area.

Like many of the approximately 600 judicial appointments Brown has made over the last eight years, the latest batch of soon-to-be bench officers is ethnically diverse and includes many women (nine) and Democrats (10).

With these appointments, all judicial vacancies are now filled, the governor’s office said.

In Alameda County, deputy public defender Clifford Blakely Jr. will fill the vacancy created when Judge Gloria Rhynes retired. Before Blakely joined the public defender’s office in 2014, he was a solo practitioner for seven years.

Joining Blakely as a new Alameda County judge will be Karin Schwartz, who has served as deputy director and chief counsel of the state Department of Public Health since 2013. Schwartz also served in several positions, including acting senior assistant attorney general, at the state Department of Justice for a decade. She fills the vacancy created by Judge Ioana Petrou to the First District Court of Appeal.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General John Devine has been named to the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Before joining the state Department of Justice in 2001, Devine was an associate at Watson & Lanctot. He fills the opening created when Judge Judith Craddick retired.

Pillsbury & Coleman partner Vedica Puri will join the San Francisco Superior Court. Puri has worked at Pillsbury & Coleman for 16 years. Puri is the first Indian-American judge ever appointed to the San Francisco bench, according to the governor’s office. She replaces Judge Tracie Brown, who was elevated to the First District Court of Appeal.

In Santa Clara County, solo practitioner Nicole Isger was named to the bench. Isger was a partner at Geffon & Isger from 2004 to 2004, and her resume includes stints in the public defenders’ offices in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties. She fills the vacancy created by Judge Allison Danner’s appointment to the Sixth District Court of Appeal.

Terrye Davis will become a judge on the Solano County Superior Court, where she has served as a commissioner since 2016. She was a judge pro tem in the Solano court from 2009 to 2014, after which she joined the Law Office of Osby Davis. She replaces Judge Peter Foor, who retired.

Brown’s full announcement is posted here:


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