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Calif. governor appoints state’s first gay appellate justice; names lesbian to San Diego bench

By Matthew S. Bajko| The Bay Area Reporter
Friday, November 23, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday made judicial history by appointing the first openly gay justice to serve on the California Court of Appeals.

He also appointed a well-known lesbian attorney to a court seat in San Diego County today and picked the first Latino justice to be appointed to a Central Valley appellate court.

Jim Humes (left) and Paula S. Rosenstein

The two appointments are believed to be the first time that Brown has appointed openly gay or lesbian people to court vacancies since returning to the governor’s office in 2011. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in March, during his first 13 months in office Brown had not disclosed that any of his judicial picks were members of the LGBT community.

Among a number of appointments to court vacancies Brown announced this morning (Wednesday, November 21) was that of gay San Francisco resident Jim Humes, 53, as an associate justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four.

Humes has served as Brown’s executive secretary for legal affairs, administration and policy since 2011. He was the chief deputy attorney general when Brown served as attorney general from 2007 to 2011.

Having first joined the California Department of Justice in 1993, Humes served in multiple positions, including chief assistant of the civil division and senior assistant attorney general of the health, education and welfare section. He served in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office from 1984 to 1986 and again from 1987 to 1993.

Humes was an associate at Banta Hoyt Banta Greene Hannen and Everall PC from 1986 to 1987 and at Jay Stuart Radetsky PC from 1983 to 1984. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University.

He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia Sepulveda. If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Humes will make $204,599 as an appellate justice.

Brown also appointed Paula S. Rosenstein to the San Diego County Superior Court. A former co-president of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association in San Diego, Rosenstein specializes in working with domestic partners as well as handling employment legal issues.

Rosenstein, 52, has been an attorney and shareholder at Rosenstein Wilson and Dean PLC since 1997. She was a sole practitioner from 1991 to 1997, an associate attorney at Rosenstein Shpall and Associates from 1987 to 1991 and an associate attorney at Richard D. Prochazka APC in 1987.

She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Linda B. Quinn. Rosenstein is a Democrat and will earn $178,789 as a judge.

In another historic move, Brown also named Rosendo Peña as his choice to be an associate justice on the state’s Fifth District Court of Appeal. Should Peña, 57, a Democrat on the Fresno Superior Court, be confirmed by the the Commission on Judicial Appointments he will be the first Latino justice in the history of the district appellate court that covers a number of Central Valley counties.

He is filling a vacancy on the court due to the retirement of Justice Betty L. Dawson and would make $204,599 as an appellate justice.

© The Bay Area Reporter.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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6 more reader comments:

  1. :)

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:01pm
  2. Yay! :)

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:04pm
  3. Comgratulations

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:08pm
  4. great news, congrats

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:14pm
  5. She is an open minded individual as well as being known for her honesty!

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:31pm
  6. Excellent!!!

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:17pm