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Public documents are available here.

Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero, chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments, announced that the commission today confirmed three nominations to California’s Courts of Appeal in Los Angeles and San Francisco:

  • Justice Gonzalo Martinez as presiding justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Seven (Los Angeles)
  • Judge Natalie P. Stone as associate justice of the Second Appellate District, Division Seven (Los Angeles)
  • Judge Tara Desautels as associate justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Two (San Francisco)

The appointees were confirmed by a unanimous vote of the three-member commission, which includes: Chief Justice Guerrero (Chair); Attorney General Rob BontaPresiding Justice Arthur Gilbert (for the Second Appellate District hearings); and Presiding Justice Jim Humes (for the First Appellate District hearing).

COJA Hearing May 14, 2024

Appointee Biographies

Justice Gonzalo Martinez fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss. Justice Martinez served as deputy judicial appointments secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom from 2019 to 2023. He served as a deputy solicitor general in the California Attorney General’s Office from 2017 to 2019 and was a partner in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group at Squire Patton Boggs from 2007 to 2017 and in 2019. Justice Martinez served as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2010 and at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California in 2007. He was an associate at Coblentz Patch Duffy and Bass LLP from 2005 to 2007 and at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2003 to 2005. Justice Martinez earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts degree in English from Stanford University.

Judge Natalie P. Stone fills the vacancy created pending confirmation of Justice Gonzalo Martinez’s appointment as presiding justice of the Second District Court of Appeal. Judge Stone has served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge since 2015. She was an appellate judicial attorney at the Second District Court of Appeal from 2010 to 2015. Judge Stone was an associate at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP from 1999 to 2010 and served as a law clerk for Judge A. Wallace Tashima at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1998 to 1999. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Judge Tara Desautels fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Justice Therese Stewart as presiding justice. She has served as an Alameda County Superior Court judge since 2010. Judge Desautels was a senior associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP from 2005 to 2010. She served as a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office from 1997 to 2005. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco. 

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