Two Superior Court judges named

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Two Superior Court judges named By Erin Carlyle/Times Staff Writer Aug. 27, 2003 Santa Maria court commissioner Arthur Garcia and Santa Barbara lawyer George Eskin were appointed Tuesday as judges of the Santa Barbara Superior Court by Gov. Gray Davis. “I feel proud and honored to join all the judges in the county. I think they are a great bunch of people to work with,” said Garcia, 50, of Santa Maria. After submitting an application last November, Garcia went through an intensive interview process by the state’s Judicial Nomination Review commission and the governor’s office. He learned of the governor’s decision through a message on his voice mail Tuesday, and was sworn in immediately. “I’m a judge now. I was sworn in today by Judge Melville,” Garcia said Tuesday evening, sounding thrilled on his way to a friend’s barbecue, which the new judge said was coincidental and not planned to celebrate. “I think it’s a great appointment,” said Assistant Presiding Judge Rodney Melville, who leads the North County court contingent. Garcia has a lot of civil law background plus experience with family law and juvenile cases, Melville said. He has served as a superior court commissioner for the last seven years, and prior to that as an attorney with Chern, Brennenman & Garcia. “He’s just got an excellent background and an excellent judicial temperament,” Melville said. Although he is officially a judge, Garcia will continue his court commissioner duties – arraignments, family law matters, juvenile drug court and domestic violence review court – until a replacement can be found. Eskin, 65, of Santa Barbara will serve in the South Coast, replacing retired Judge Harry Loberg. Eskin said he was “excited and relieved” after waiting to hear about the appointment for over a year. He filed his application in July 2002, after learning of Loberg’s upcoming retirement, and completed the interview process in November. Eskin learned of the appointment Tuesday at noon but said he’d wait to celebrate until his wife, Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, returns Friday from Sacramento. “She was the first person I called,” Eskin said. “I think the best characterization of her response was a shriek.” “Another excellent appointment,” Melville said of Eskin. “He has a really great reputation in the legal community all the way from Ventura to San Luis Obispo.” Eskin and Garcia will each receive a salary of $139,476. Eskin is a registered Democrat, Garcia a Republican. Garcia became a Republican about 10 years ago, he said, after years as a Democrat. Davis also named six state appeals court justices on Tuesday. They included: n Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges Madeleine I. Flier and Laurie D. Zelon to the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles. n San Diego County Superior Court Judge Joan Irion as associate justice of the 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego and appointed the appeals court’s Associate Justice Judith McConnell as presiding justice. n Merced County Superior Court Judge Betty L. Dawson to the 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno. n Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Richard J. McAdams to the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose. The justices will be paid $159,657 yearly. * Staff writer Janene Scully contributed to this story. Staff writer Erin Carlyle can be reached at 739-2218 or by e-mail at Aug. 27, 2003 :nav Source:

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