San Francisco—The California Supreme Court has named Steven M. Rosenberg as the new director of its Capital Central Staff. He will replace Kaye Reeves, the director for the past nine years. Reeves, who joined the court in 1991, will return to her previous position on the chambers staff of Associate Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar. Rosenberg’s appointment will take effect June 3, 2013.
“We are very fortunate in our court to have such a wealth of legal talent on our staff to support the justices, manage our cases, and perform our important role of deciding all capital appeals and related matters,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “I’m grateful to both Kaye and Steven for all of the excellent work they have done, and will continue to do, for the court.”
Justice Ming W. Chin, Chairperson of the court’s Capital Central Staff committee, added, “The director, attorneys, and support teams of the Capital Central Staff play a pivotal role in the court’s ability to effectively manage capital cases and related habeas corpus matters. In the 2011–2012 court year, the court resolved 27 automatic appeals arising from judgments of death, acted by order upon 16 petitions for writs of habeas corpus, issued an order to show cause in 3 of these matters for claims arising under Atkins v. Virginia, and dismissed another five habeas corpus petitions as moot. All involve complex and serious matters for our court and our state and require the expertise and experience of dedicated attorneys like Kaye and Steven.”
Rosenberg has served as a senior attorney on the Capital Central Staff since 2006. Before joining the court, he spent six years as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where he worked in the criminal and motions units and on the Appellate Commissioner’s staff. He is a graduate of the Golden Gate University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the law review and graduated first in his class. Before becoming a lawyer, he served as a law clerk in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and a law enforcement ranger for the National Park Service.
The Capital Central Staff was created in 2002 to assist the justices in the adjudication of death matters. The unit consists of the director and nine attorneys. They prepare memoranda and draft opinions addressing capital appeals, habeas corpus petitions, and related motions. In addition, they assist the automatic appeals unit of the clerk’s office with a variety of issues.
The court has two other central staffs composed primarily of career attorneys. The Criminal Central Staff prepares conference memoranda addressing petitions for review and habeas corpus petitions in all criminal matters except capital cases. The Civil Central Staff prepares conference memoranda addressing petitions for review in civil matters and attorney and judicial discipline matters.