Governor Fills 3 New County Judgeships

Times Staff Writer

Gov. George Deukmejian filled three newly created judgeships on the San Diego County Superior Court Friday. The new Superior Court judges are Municipal Court Judges Patricia D. Benke and Thomas R. Murphy, and private attorney Arthur D. Jones.

They will fill new positions added to the court this year. There remain two vacancies to fill, said William Pierce, the county’s Superior Court administrator.

Pierce said Friday he was uncertain how soon the new judges would be sworn in, or where they will be assigned. The county has three vacant courtrooms in the North County Courthouse, one in the Juvenile Court building and one in the downtown courthouse, he said.

Murphy, 49, has been a Municipal Court judge in El Cajon since his 1980 appointment to the bench by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. Before that, he was a partner in an El Cajon law firm.


Benke, 36, was appointed to the Municipal Court bench by Deukmejian in 1983. Before that she was a deputy attorney general.

Jones, 56, has maintained his own law practice in San Diego since 1977. He has specialized in product liability, medical malpractice and construction contract liability. Jones began practicing law in San Diego in 1957 as a deputy city attorney.