Governor Brown Appoints Eight to Los Angeles County Superior Court

Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Richard J. Burdge Jr., Rupert A. Byrdsong, David J. Cowan, Brian S. Currey, Sherilyn P. Garnett, Christopher K. Lui, Enrique Monguia and Gustavo N. Sztraicher to judgeships in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Burdge, 64, of Pasadena, has been the owner of the Burdge Law Firm PC since 2011. Burdge was a partner at Howrey LLP from 2000 to 2011, at Dewey Ballantine LLP from 1986 to 2000 and at Lillick and McHose LLP in 1986. He was an associate at Lillick McHose and Charles from 1979 to 1985. Burdge was president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 2012 to 2013. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Shari K. Silver. Burdge is a Democrat.

Byrdsong, 44, of Los Angeles, has been an attorney at Ivie McNeill and Wyatt since 1995. Byrdsong earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College. He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on August 12, 2013. Byrdsong is a Democrat.

Cowan, 51, of Los Angeles, has served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2005. He was an attorney in private practice from 1994 to 2005, including as of counsel to Hong and Chang from 2001 to 2002. Cowan was an associate at Leland Parachini Flinn Steinberg Matzger and Melnick from 1992 to 1994 and at Rogers and Wells from 1988 to 1992. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Diana M. Wheatley. Cowan is a Democrat.

Currey, 57, of Manhattan Beach, has been of counsel at O’Melveny and Myers LLP since 2013. He was deputy mayor for economic and business policy at the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2013 and counsel to the mayor from 2010 to 2013. Currey was a partner at O’Melveny and Myers LLP from 1989 to 2010 and an associate from 1981 to 1989. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lawrence J. Mira. Currey is a Democrat.

Garnett, 45, of Altadena, has been Chief of the General Crimes Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California since 2014, where she has served as an assistant U.S. Attorney since 2001. Garnett was a litigation associate at Arnold and Porter LLP from 1999 to 2000, a law clerk for the Honorable Barry T. Moskowitz at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California from 1998 to 1999 and a litigation associate at Altheimer and Gray from 1995 to 1998. Garnett earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Riverside. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on August 12, 2013. Garnett is a Democrat.

Lui, 45, of Glendale, has been of counsel at Browne George Ross LLP since 2014. He was a partner at Crowell and Moring LLP from 2011 to 2014 and served as an assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California from 2005 to 2011. Lui was counsel at O’Melveny and Myers LLP from 2002 to 2005, where he was an associate from 1998 to 2002. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Dickran Tevrizian at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 1997 to 1998. Lui earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Beverly R. O’Connell to the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Lui is registered without party preference.

Monguia, 57, of Whittier, has served as a public defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1986. He was an attorney at Mission Community Legal Defense Inc. from 1984 to 1986. Monguia earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Spanish from Stanford University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Dewey L. Falcone. Monguia is a Democrat.

Sztraicher, 54, of Los Angeles, has been a senior trial lawyer at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 2001, where he has served in several positions since 1990, including felony trainer and misdemeanor trainer in the Central Trials Division, team leader in the Public Integrity Assurance Section and misdemeanor trial counsel at the East Los Angeles Branch Offices. He was an associate attorney at the Kaplan Law Corporation from 1988 to 1990 and at the Pfiester Law Corporation from 1987 to 1988. Sztraicher earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John H. Reid. Sztraicher is a Democrat.

The compensation for each of these positions is $181,292.

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