Wilson Names 6 Judges to Southland Courts

Gov. Pete Wilson on Thursday announced the appointment of four judges to Los Angeles County Superior Court and two to the Municipal Court.

Named to the Superior Court were Tricia A. Bigelow, James C. Chalfant, William F. Fahey and William F. Highberger.

Bigelow replaces Judge Irving Shimer, who has retired. Bigelow, 37, of Marina del Rey, has served as a judge for the Municipal Court since 1995. Previously, she was a supervising deputy attorney general for the California attorney general's office.

Chalfant succeeds Judge Michael Berg, who has retired. Chalfant, 45, of Los Angeles, has served as a judge for the Los Angeles County Municipal Court since 1996. Previously, he had been in private practice and had his own firm from 1995 to 1996.

Fahey takes the place of Judge Daniel Curry, who has been elevated to the 2nd District Court of Appeal. Fahey, 46, of Manhattan Beach, has been a partner with the firm of Hanna & Morton since February 1998.

Highberger replaces Judge Richard Harris, who has retired. Highberger, 48, of Pacific Palisades, has been a partner with the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP since 1983. Previously, he was an associate with that firm from 1976 to 1982.

A Superior Court judge earns $107,390 per year.

Meanwhile, Philip L. Soto was appointed to the Municipal Court, southeast judicial district. He replaces Judge Peter Espinoza, who was elevated to the Superior Court. Soto, 39, of Pasadena, has been the senior associate at the firm of Manning, Marder, & Wolfe since 1994.

Kevin L. Brown was also named to the Municipal Court in the Los Angeles judicial district. He replaces Bigelow. Brown, 43, of Torrance, has been a Los Angeles deputy district attorney since 1991.

The salary for a Municipal Court judge is $98,070 per year.

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