SACRAMENTO - Governor Gray Davis announced the appointment of Federal Judge Carlos R. Moreno as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, filling the vacancy created by the death of Justice Stanley Mosk in June.
"Judge Moreno has a record of excellence that is second to none." Governor Davis said. "Of the four candidates I submitted to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, he was the only one deemed `exceptionally well qualified' by a unanimous vote.
"Only an individual with broad experience, unimpeachable integrity, and extraordinary ability would be able to follow Justice Mosk's distinguished legacy," the Governor continued. "In Judge Carlos Moreno, I have found the best judge for the job."
Judge Moreno, 52, of Los Angeles, has served as a Judge of the United States District Court, Central District of California, since his appointment by President Bill Clinton in February 1998. As a federal judge, he has handled a broad range of complex civil and criminal matters, including antitrust, patent and securities litigation, bankruptcy appeals, and death penalty habeas corpus reviews. He previously served as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 1993 to 1998, pursuant to an appointment from Governor Pete Wilson, and as a Judge on the Compton Municipal Court from 1986 to 1993, pursuant to an appointment from Governor George Deukmejian.
Before becoming a judge, Judge Moreno worked as a prosecutor and Special Counsel to the City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney's office from 1975 to 1979. Judge Moreno was in private practice with the Los Angeles law firms of Mori & Ota and Kelley, Drye & Warren from 1979 to 1986. During those seven years of private practice, he handled commercial litigation in state and federal courts, including bankruptcy, employment, banking, real estate and antitrust litigation.
Judge Moreno served as President of the Mexican American Bar Association in 1982. He served on numerous working committees of the Los Angeles Superior Court and has been active in professional organizations, including the California Judges Association, Municipal Court Judges Association.
Presiding Judges Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association. Since 1997, he has served on the board of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center, a non-profit community health clinic providing care to lower income residents in Northeast Los Angeles. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni for seven years. In 1997, he received the Superior Court Judge of the Year Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
"Judge Moreno has a clear grasp of the law, a boundless respect for constitutional and legal rights, and a remarkable ability to explain complex legal issues in understandable terms," Governor Davis said. "He is also a consensus-builder who will ensure that judicial disagreement ennobles the law without entangling the Court."
Judge Moreno earned a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University, and a juris doctorate degree from Stanford University. He will receive a salary of $162,409.
Judge Moreno fills the vacancy created by the death of Justice Mosk, who joined the California Supreme Court on September 1, 1964. On December 26, 1991, he became the longest-serving justice of the Supreme Court.
The Governor's appointment of Judge Moreno is now subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That Commission is comprised of the Chief Justice, the Attorney General and Presiding Justice Joan Demp-sey Klein of the Second Appellate District.
Before the appointment was made, Governor Davis considered the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission's evaluations of four candidates. The process which typically takes 90 days was completed by the Commission within six weeks.