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Justice Patricia Guerrero passed the next step on her road to becoming California’s Chief Justice Aug. 26.

The Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Guerrero to the post following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Aug. 10 nomination.

The Judicial Council released documents when they announced her confirmation, including her application to the role.

“I want to be a member of the California Supreme Court to serve the public and uphold the rule of law–while also honoring the sacrifices of my immigrant parents, and demonstrating to children throughout California that anything is possible in this wonderful and diverse country,” Guerrero wrote in her application.

California’s voters will decide whether to appoint the justice in the Nov. 8 general election.

The sitting chief justice, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, announced her retirement July 27.

Guerrero joined the state Supreme Court as an Associate Justice March 28, taking the seat formerly held by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.

Approval by leaders

The Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation found the justice is “exceptionally well qualified” to be the Chief Justice.

“She has had an exceptional career as a litigator in both the private and public sectors and possesses substantial experience in every area of the law at the trial and appellate level. She is universally lauded for her superior intellect, clear writing, judicial temperament, work ethic, and compassion,” the commission’s report says.

The Attorney General’s report published the positive reviews of 11 anonymous people who, the report claims, are familiar with Guerrero’s work.

David Mulliken, former partner with Guerrero’s former firm, Latham & Watkins; Administrative Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate Division, Division One Judith McConnell; and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Martin Jenkins spoke in Guerrero’s support at the Commission’s March 22 hearing.  

Application documents

The Judicial Council released documents that provide a better picture of Guerrero’s history and attributes.

When asked what the three most important qualities of an appellate judge are, Guerrero wrote fairness and judicial temperament, analytical and writing skills and a strong work ethic. She described her personality as kind, patient, calim, dedicated and dependable.

She said she provided pro bono work to Casa Cornelia Law Center Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She also said she provided pro bono legal services to the short-lived Crestline nonprofit K909: Animal Advocates for San Bernardino County, run by Lori Korioth. 

Her only listed political involvement was on a committee to elect San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

Important cases 

In her application to the Supreme Court, Guerrero listed 10 appellate cases she presided over:

Guerrero listed Faton v. Ahmedo (D066119) as the only case she ruled on as a San Diego Superior judge that was reviewed, and affirmed, by the Court of Appeal. In that case, she ordered a defendant to pay attorney fees for the plaintiff’s domestic violence restraining order against him.


Read Guerrero’s application to the California Supreme Court here.

Read Guerrero’s resume here.

Read the commission’s report on Guerrero here.

Read the Attorney General’s report here.


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