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2002-02-05

PRESS RELEASE
February 5, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2002 Presiding Judge Juvenile, Presiding Judge Family Law, Supervising and Executive Judges in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

Harry R. Sheppard, Presiding Judge is pleased to announce that he has made the following appointments as presiding, supervisory, and executive judges of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  These appointments are pursuant to the provisions of the California Rules of Court and the Court’s Internal Rules of Judicial Administration.  These Judges assist the Presiding Judge in the judicial administration of court business in sixteen locations throughout the County, consistent with the provisions of Rule 6.603, California Rules of Court, and Section 246 of the Welfare & Institutions Code.  Judges in these assignments also maintain case adjudication calendars. 
 
Name of Judge Title
Jeffrey S. Allen Supervising Judge, Alameda

Jacob Blea III
Presiding Judge, Family Law and Supervising Judge, Pleasanton
Carol Brosnahan Supervising Judge, Berkeley
Julie Conger Supervising Judge, René C. Davidson Courthouse, Administration Building, and Post Office Building, Oakland
Keith Fudenna Supervising Judge, Fremont Hall of Justice
Brenda Harbin-Forte Presiding Judge, Juvenile
Allan Hymer Supervising Judge, Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, and Allen E. Broussard Justice Center, Oakland
Robert Kurtz Executive Judge, Criminal South County located in the Hayward Hall of Justice
Barbara J. Miller Assistant Presiding Judge and Supervising Judge, Hayward Hall of Justice
Jon Rolefson Executive Judge, Criminal North County located in the René C. Davidson Courthouse

With the exception of Judges Blea, Hymer and Kurtz, all other judges served in the same capacity in 2001.

Judge Jeffrey S. Allen is serving as Supervising Judge at the George E. McDonald Hall of Justice in Alameda presiding in Department 302.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, he was elected as a Municipal Court Judge for the former Alameda Judicial District, Alameda County, from January 1985 to 1998, when he was elevated to a Superior Court Judge on July 31, 1998.  Judge Allen had a private law practice in Alameda, California from 1974-1985.  He was sole practitioner, concentrating on domestic relations and real estate matters.  He worked as a marketing researcher for a high-tech firm and then for Bank of America prior to and during law school.  Judge Allen has been a member of the Alameda County Bar Association since 1974.  He received his J.D. in 1973, from the University of San Francisco School of Law and an M.B.A. in 1968 and a B.S. in 1966 from San Jose State University, majoring in marketing.

Although Judge Jacob Blea continues his year 2001 assignment as the Presiding Judge, Family Law, he has been appointed to also serve as the Supervising Judge at the Gale/Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.  Judge Jacob Blea was the first judge to be designated Presiding Judge, Family Law, consistent with the provisions of Rule 6.603, California Rules of Court.  Judge Blea took the Oath of Office for the position of Superior Court Judge on January 8, 1998.  Until recently, he was assigned to Family Law, Department 507, in Hayward.  Prior to elevation to the Superior Court, Judge Blea owned and operated his own law practice in Livermore where he practiced family and general civil law.  He served as President of the Alameda County Bar Association in 1996, where he was active in the Bar’s efforts to deliver pro bono legal services to indigent litigants.

Judge Carol Brosnahan is the Supervising Judge at the Berkeley Courthouse presiding in Department 201 since 2001.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, she served as a Municipal Court Judge for the former Berkeley-Albany Judicial District, Alameda County, from April 1979 to 1998, when she was elevated to a Superior Court Judge on July 31, 1998.  Judge Brosnahan served as Presiding Judge for the Berkeley Court in 1998, 1991, 1990 and 1984-85.  Judge Brosnahan was a member of the California State Fair Political Practices Commission from 1975-1977.  She served as Program Director of Local Bar Relations, and Supervising Attorney in charge of litigation-related projects, Continuing Education of the Bar, Berkeley, California, 1964-1979.  She was in private law practice in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1960-1964.  She worked as an assistant investment counselor at a bank in New York, New York from 1955-1956.  Judge Brosnahan has been a member of the California Judges Association since 1979.  She is also a member of the National Association of Women Judges since 1996.  She participates in Alameda County Women Lawyers, California Women Lawyers, Earl Warren Inn of Court, and the American Judicature Society.  Judge Brosnahan received her LL.B. from Harvard University Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1959.

Judge Julie Conger is the Supervising Judge of the René C. Davidson Courthouse, Administration Building and the Post Office Building in Oakland, presiding in Criminal, Department 4, at the René C. Davidson Courthouse.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, she was elected Judge to the former Municipal Court for the Berkeley-Albany Judicial District, Alameda County, taking her Oath of Office on December 27, 1982, and serving the Berkeley Court until 1998, when she was elevated to a Superior Court Judge.  She served as Presiding Judge of the Berkeley Court in 1988, 1990, and 1996-1997.  Prior to her judicial career, she was in private practice in Berkeley from 1979-1982.  She also served as a Deputy Public Defender to Assistant Public Defender in Alameda County from 1975-1979.  Judge Conger has been a member of the Court’s Executive Committee since 1999.  Judge Conger was on the Faculty of CJSP Teaching a course on Judicial Ethics in 1999.  She was Lecturer for Code of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Ethics, and Workers’ Compensation Referee Training Programs in 1997.  She was on Faculty and gave Seminars on Judicial Ethics at CJA annual meetings in 1993 and 1997.  She was on the Faculty at CJER for the New Judges Orientation Program in 1993.  She was a Panelist on Judicial Ethics, at the 1992 CJA Mid-Year Conference.  Judge Conger has many publications.  She was Editor, “On Not Taking Ourselves Seriously,” a humor column in California Judges Association quarterly in 1994.  She was Co-Author of a Chapter on Speedy Trial, CEB Criminal Procedure Manual; “Abortion:  The Five-Year Revolution and Its Impact,” Environmental Law Quarterly, Spring 1973.  Judge Conger received her J.D. in June 1974, from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.  She was on the Board of Editors, Ecology Law Quarterly, in 1974, and recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and winner of Moot Court Honors competition.  She received a M.S. in June 1968, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts and acquired a National Science Foundation Fellowship.  In June 1963 she received her B.S. magna cum laude, Mathematics, from Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts.  She was admitted to the California Bar on December 18, 1974.

Judge Keith Fudenna is the Supervising Judge for the Fremont Hall of Justice, in Fremont, California, and presides in Department 602.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, he was appointed as a Municipal Court Judge for the former Fremont-Newark-Union City Judicial District, Alameda County, on December 17, 1997.  He was elevated to a Superior Court Judge in 1998.  Prior to his appointment as a judge, he served as a Court Commissioner from February 5, 1990 to December 17, 1997.  Prior to his judicial career, Judge Fudenna was in private practice, concentrating in criminal law defense, but also provided service in commercial law, probate matters, and estate planning in Fremont, California from 1981-1990.  He has been a member of the California Judges Association since 1991 and a member of the Court Commissioners Association from 1991-1997.  He is a member of the Washington Township Bar Association, the Alameda County Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association.

Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte continues her appointment as Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, she was appointed a Judge of the former Municipal Court, Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Judicial District on January 24, 1992.  In 1998, she was elevated to a Superior Court Judge.  Prior to her bench career, she was a partner at the firm now known as Thelen, Reid & Priest, where she handled complex civil litigation matters.  She served as a Court Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, San Francisco, from October 1979 to September 1982.  Judge Harbin-Forte was a Member of the California Judicial Council from 1996-1999, and Chair of the Rules and Projects Committee from 1998-1999.  Judge Harbin-Forte has been serving as Dean of CJER’s B. E. Witkin Judicial College from 2000-2002.  She is Chair of CJER’s New Judge Education Planning Committee, and she is currently a Consultant on CJER’s various Bench Books and Benchguides.  Judge Harbin-Forte is the Author: “350 Days to Trial: Strategies for Survival Under Trial Court Delay Reduction Programs” 1988, and “Unfair Media Coverage of Judicial Misconduct Investigations (Or Taking Landmark Communications Too Far).”  Judge Harbin-Forte received her J.D. (May 1979), from the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California.  She was Class President in 1979.

Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, Supervising Judge Allan Hymer served as a Municipal Court Judge for the former Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Municipal Court from 1997 to 1998, and was elevated to Superior Court Judge in July 1998.  Judge Hymer is presently serving as Supervising Judge for the Wiley W. Manuel/Allen E. Broussard Courthouse presiding in Department 112.  Judge Hymer attended Stanford Law School and received his law degree in 1965.  He then assumed duties as a Law Clerk at the Alameda County Superior Court in the Appellate and Probate Departments until 1968.  In 1968, he was appointed an Assistant Public Defender in Alameda County until 1974.  In 1974, Judge Hymer had a private law practice until 1977, at which time he rejoined the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office.  Judge Hymer was an instructor, from 1983-1997 at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, providing instruction in trial practice law courses.

Judge Robert Kurtz is serving as the Executive Judge, Criminal, in South County, that includes the San Leandro-Hayward, Fremont-Newark-Union City, and Livermore-Pleasanton-Dublin Judicial Districts.  Prior to his appointment as Superior Court Judge, Judge Kurtz served as Judge of the Municipal Court, in the former San Leandro-Hayward Judicial District, in Alameda County from October 1986 to March 1995, wherein he was appointed a Superior Court Judge.  Judge Kurtz served as Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court, from 1998-1999.  Prior to his appointment as judge, Judge Kurtz was an Assistant Public Defender in Alameda County from 1981-1986.  He was in private practice in Hayward from 1978-1981.  Judge Kurtz also served as Deputy District Attorney in Stanislaus County in 1977, Del Norte County from 1976-1977, and Riverside County from 1973-1976.  He is a member of the California Judges Association, and a member of the Alameda County Bar Association since 1978.  He was Chair of the Alameda County Judicial Coordinating Committee from 1988-1989.  Judge Kurtz was also an instructor at College of the Redwoods, in Crescent City from 1976-1977, giving instruction in Consumer Law and Police Science.  Judge Kurtz received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in 1973.  He was admitted to the California Bar on December 18, 1973.

Judge Barbara J. Miller was elected by the Superior Court Judges of Alameda County to the position of Assistant Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, for the 2002 and 2003 calendar years, at a meeting of the judges on June 4, 2001.  In that capacity, she assists the Presiding Judge with the judicial administration of the Court, as specified in Rule 6.603 of the California Rules of Court.  Judge Miller is also the Supervising Judge at the Hayward Hall of Justice, a position she has held since 2000.  She presides in Department 511.  As a Superior Court Judge, she has also presided in Family Law, Probate, Civil and Criminal Trial Departments.  Judge Miller was elected to the office of Superior Court Judge in 1996.  Previous to her election, she served as a Court Commissioner in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda from 1987-1996.  Prior to her judicial career, she practiced law for ten years, including six years with the firm formerly known as Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges in San Francisco.  Judge Miller was admitted to the California Bar in December 1978.  She attended and graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law, 1974-1978, receiving her Juris Doctor Degree, Cum Laude.

Judge Jon Rolefson is serving as Executive Judge, in North County, at the René C. Davidson Courthouse, in Oakland, presiding in Criminal, Department 11 that includes Alameda, Berkeley-Albany and Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Judicial Districts.  Prior to becoming a Superior Court Judge, he was elected as a Municipal Court Judge for the former Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Judicial District, Alameda County, from November 22, 1996, to July 1998, when he was elevated to a Superior Court Judge on July 31, 1998.  He had a private law practice in Oakland and Pleasanton, California, from 1980-1996.  He served as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County from 1973-1980.  Judge Rolefson received his J.D. in 1973 from Hastings Law School, in San Francisco, California.  (Order of the Coif).

The contact for this information release is Barbara J. Fox, Chief Assistant Executive Officer at (510) 272-6504.
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