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Tri-Valley residents among new superior court judges

Governor makes dozens of state appointments last week

A family law specialist from Livermore, a court commissioner from San Ramon and a Navy veteran and attorney from Piedmont have been named as the newest Alameda County Superior Court judges.

Judges Amy L. Sekany, Jason Clay and James R. Reilly are filling bench seats left open by recent retirements of Alameda County judges. The trio were among the 25 judicial appointments Gov. Jerry Brown made to superior courts across the state last week.

Livermore resident Sekany has focused on family law, but her legal experience runs the gamut, including working three years as a crisis counselor and case manager at the Tri-Valley Haven shelter from 2001-04.

The 47-year-old most recently served as Alameda County Superior Court's family law facilitator and managing attorney of Self-Help Services. Before that, she served as managing attorney for the Eviction Defense Center in Oakland, from 2014-16 and 2005-09.

Sekany was an associate at Wylie, McBride, Platten and Renner from 2009-14, where she was a law clerk from 1999 to 2001. She also worked as a prosecutor and public defender in Illinois early in her career. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millikin University.

A registered Democrat, Sekany fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Dan Grimmer.

Clay, 48, joins the bench after serving as an Alameda County Superior Court commissioner since 2013. The San Ramon resident previously worked in private practice from 2006-13 as well as a deputy public defender for the Alameda County Public Defender's Office from 1995 to 2006.

Clay, who is registered to vote without party preference, earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by Judge Willie Lott Jr.'s retirement.

A former U.S. Navy officer, Reilly joins the court after working the past 22 years as a partner at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani since 1995.

Reilly earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert B. Freedman. The 63-year-old from Piedmont is registered without party preference.

Each new judge will earn an annual salary of $200,042.

The governor made a handful of other East Bay appointments announced Feb. 26 and 27.

Martinez attorney Leonard E. Marquez was appointed to a judgeship in the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Tian Feng of Walnut Creek was reappointed to the California Architects Board, where he has served since 2014.

Berkeley residents Arthur Krantz and Priscilla S. Winslow were appointed to the California Public Employment Relations Board -- with Winslow's being a reappointment.

Berkeley resident Erick Mikiten and Walnut Creek resident Kent Sasaki were reappointed to the California Building Standards Commission, where each has served since 2012.

Those final four appointments require State Senate confirmation.

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