Hearing set for 3 judges nominated for State Court of Appeal

Schwarzenegger seeks to replace retiring judges in First District court

Three Bay Area judges nominated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Court of Appeal will go before a state commission in San Francisco on July 30 for a confirmation hearing.

The three nominees are Robert Dondero of San Francisco Superior Court, Terence Bruiniers of Contra Costa County Superior Court and Kathleen Banke of Alameda County Superior Court.

All are replacing retiring judges of the San Francisco-based First District Court of Appeal.

The hearing, announced Monday, will be held by the three-member state Commission on Judicial Appointments at the State Building in San Francisco at 1 p.m. on July 30.

The commission is made up of California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, Attorney General Jerry Brown, and First District Court of Appeal Senior Presiding Justice Anthony Kline.

Under the state Constitution, the governor's appointments to appeal courts become effective when approved by the commission.

People who wish to comment on the nominations may send their comments by July 23 to the Commission on Judicial Appointments, c/o Chief Justice of California, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, attention Commission Secretary.

The First District is one of six appellate districts of the state Court of Appeal. It was established in 1905 and has 20 justices.

The court handles appeals from trial courts in 12 Bay Area and Northern Coastal California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma.

Each appeal is heard by a panel of three justices.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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