Gov. Schwarzenegger Appoints 11 to Los Angeles County Superior Court


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointments of Akemi D. Arakaki, Michele E. Flurer, David V. Herriford, Russell S. Kussman, John J. Lonergan Jr., Lia R. Martin, Victor D. Martinez, Yolanda Orozco, Salvatore T. Sirna, Shelly Baron Torrealba and Robert E. Willett to judgeships in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
 
Arakaki, 37, of Monterey Park, has served as a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1999. Prior to that, she was an attorney for the Law Offices of Steve Escovar in 1999. Arakaki earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Arakaki is a Democrat.
 
 
Flurer, 49, of Manhattan Beach, has served as a superior court commissioner for the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2006. Prior to that, she served as general counsel for American Tours International from 1994 to 2006. Flurer was an associate for Baker and McKenzie from 1989 to 1994 and Knapp, Petersen, and Clarke from 1987 to 1989. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. Flurer fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Richard B. Wolfe. Flurer is a Republican.
 
Herriford, 52, of Inglewood, has been a sole practitioner since 1990. Prior to that, he was an associate for McKinney, Peters and Granville from 1989 to 1990. Herriford was a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office from 1984 to 1989 and an associate for Long and Levit from 1982 to 1984. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. Herriford fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gregg Marcus. Herriford is a Democrat.
 
 
Kussman, 61, of Pacific Palisades, has been a founding partner of Kussman and Whitehill since 1988. He was an associate, then partner, for Gage, Mazursky, Schwartz, Angelo and Kussman from 1984 to 1988. Prior to that, Kussman was a sole practitioner from 1982 to 1984. He served as an associate attorney for Belli Law Offices in 1982 and for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher from 1981 to 1982. Kussman earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Medical Doctor degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University School of Medicine. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eudon Ferrell. Kussman is a Democrat.
 
 
Lonergan, 47, of Manhattan Beach, has served as a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 1999. Previously, he was a deputy district attorney for the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office from 1997 to 1999. Lonergan earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mt. St. Mary’s University. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Lonergan is a Republican.
 
 
Martin, 45, of Altadena, has served as a superior court commissioner for the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2006. Previously, she was a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 2006. Martin earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California Gould College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Martin is a Democrat.
 
 
Martinez, 47, of Covina, has served as a deputy alternate public defender for the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender's Office since 1996. He served as a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office from 1994 to 1995. Martinez earned a Juris Doctorate degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from Western State University College of Law. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Martinez is a Republican.
 
 
Orozco, 57, of Los Angeles, has been a partner for Jones Day since 2005. Previously, she was a partner for Liner, Grode, Stein, Yankelevitz, Sunshine, Regenstreif and Taylor from 2004 to 2005. Orozco was an associate, then partner, for O’Neill, Lysaght and Sun from 1988 to 2003. She was an associate for Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson, and Casey from 1986 to 1987 and Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas from 1985 to 1986. She served as a deputy federal public defender for the Office of the Federal Public Defender from 1981 to 1984 and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1979 to 1981. Orozco earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Orozco is a Democrat.
 
 
Sirna, 42, of Placentia, has served as a partner for Cammarano and Sirna since 2006. He was a partner for Beck, Sirna and Jenkins from 2002 to 2004 and an associate for Prindle, Decker and Amaro from 1995 to 2002. Sirna earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Whittier College School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Yaffe. Sirna is a Republican.
 
 
Torrealba, 47, of Altadena, has served as a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 1994. She was a sole practitioner from 1993 to 1994. Torrealba was an attorney for Robinson, DiLando and Whitaker from 1992 to 1993. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern College of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University. Torrealba fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Torrealba is a Democrat.
 
 
Willett, 67, of Pasadena, has served as an associate, partner, vice chair and vice chair emeritus for O’Melveny and Myers since 1974. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Fernando Valley State College. Willett fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on October 8, 2010. Willet is a Democrat.
 
 
The compensation for each position is $178,789.