California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Peter Borkon, a former adjunct professor at the UC Hastings College of the Law, as judge of the Alameda County Superior Court on Monday.
Borkon currently serves as a partner at law firm Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP. He will be filling the vacancy of former judge Patrick Zika, who retired in July 2021, according to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Tara Desautels.
“I will work diligently and impartially apply the law in a neutral and unbiased manner to every case that comes to the Courtroom I’m assigned to preside over,” Borkon said in an email.
Borkon’s official start date has not been determined, Desautels said. Appointees are given time to conclude their work as attorneys and transition into their role at the Superior Court.
Once Borkon is sworn in office, he will be up for judicial election, Desautels added. If he wins the election, Borkon will start his six-year term as judge.
“Over the coming weeks, I will work with the Presiding Judge of Alameda County to determine a timeline for my swearing in and start date that is suitable to the Court,” Borkon said in the email.
According to Desautels, candidates need to satisfy the requirements for years of practice, levels of intelligence, appropriate judicial demeanor and understanding the role of a judge in order to be nominated. These qualities are assessed through the judicial selection committee, the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and the appointment secretary who assists the governor through the judicial appointment process, Desautels said.
With respect to these criteria, Borkon has worked at federal courts and served as a litigator in consumer, antitrust, securities and derivative litigation. He said in the email he has also worked as a partner at a law firm in Berkeley for 11 years.
Desautels said Borkon’s extensive work as an educator as well as an attorney will make him a suitable addition to the Superior Court.
“The ability for an individual to learn and adapt to different assignments is one of the considerations that the evaluation committees consider, and based on Peter Borkon’s background, I’m confident that he will excel in every assignment given to him,” Desautels said.
Borkon said in the email he will be dealing with a wide range of cases as a Superior Court judge.
He added that he looks forward to joining other judges at the Superior Court and learning from their experiences.
“I will join a bench of talented, intelligent and dedicated Judges and learn from them what has worked well,” Borkon said in the email. “I am honored to be appointed to serve the community of Alameda County.”