Judicial Aspirations Fulfilled
December 4, 2012
November was a good month for Pacific McGeorge alumni seeking to win, retain or be appointed to Superior Court judgeships in California while a longtime adjunct professor also was named to the bench.
Sarah Heckman, '99, became the first Sutter County judge elected to the bench in more than 25 years with her victory in a general election runoff. Since the 1980s, Sutter County judges have retired mid-term and been replaced through gubernatorial appointment. Heckman emerged as the front-runner after the June primary, beating out eight other candidates including several other McGeorge alums. She has served as managing attorney of the Sutter Courts Law Center self-help programs since 2002 after beginning her legal career as a deputy district attorney.
Warren Stracener, '85, retained his seat on the El Dorado County Superior Court bench with a 52-47 percent victory over a formidable opponent. He had been appointed to a judgeship in December 2010 by outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Later in the month, Gregory Syren, '85, was appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court bench by Gov. Jerry Brown. Syren has served as an assistant public defender in the Alameda County Public Defender's Office since 1987 and represented defendants in several high-profile murder cases.
Adjunct professor Steven Gevercer is the most recent Superior Court addition with a McGeorge connection. He was named to a judgeship on the Madera County Superior Court just a week ago. Gevercer, a senior assistant attorney general at the Attorney General's Office, Civil Division, Tort and Condemnation Section, has spent most of his career with the state AG's office in various capacities. He has taught criminal pretrial litigation at McGeorge for more than a decade.
Back in August, Brown appointed Laurel White, '88, to a judgeship on the Sacramento County Superior Court. She had served in multiple positions at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California, including Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2010 and Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989 to 2010.
New alumni judges are not just confined to California. In September, Erin Marston, '85, was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell. He had been a partner and litigator at the Law Office of Marston & Cole PC whose practice emphasized insurance defense and aviation law.