Born and raised in California, Justice Hoch attended Stanford University from 1977 - 1981 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In 1984, she graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Justice Hoch worked in private practice, and then began her career in state public service. In 1987, Justice Hoch went to work as a Board Counsel at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. In 1988, she transferred to the Public Employment Relations Board where she was a Regional Attorney and then Legal Advisor to the Board’s Chair.
In 1992, Justice Hoch joined the California Attorney General’s Office. She began her career as a Deputy Attorney General in the Health, Education and Welfare Section, where she represented state agencies in administrative proceedings and state and federal courts, including appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1997, Justice Hoch joined the Tobacco Litigation Section and represented the State in its historic litigation against the tobacco industry. She was in charge of the law and motion and appellate practice and was the lead attorney for developing the legal arguments in state superior and appellate courts. In 1998, the states and tobacco industry entered into a comprehensive master settlement agreement that resolved all of the claims in the pending litigation filed by the states against the tobacco industry. The settlement resulted in the tobacco industry agreeing to pay $8.5 billion to the State of California. In 1999, Justice Hoch joined the Government Law Section. This section provides legal advice to the state constitutional officers, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State. The section also represents the state constitutional officers and state agencies in state and federal courts. Later in 1999, Justice Hoch was promoted to Supervising Deputy Attorney General of the Government Law Section. From January 2001 to January 2002, Justice Hoch also headed up the Energy Crisis Team, which provided legal advice on the scope of the Governor’s emergency powers and represented the State in various state and federal forums to obtain monies due to the State as a result of the exorbitant prices charged to the State during the energy crisis by several energy companies. In January 2002, Justice Hoch was promoted to Senior Assistant Attorney General to lead the work of the Government Law Section. In November 2002, Justice Hoch was appointed as Chief Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Law Division. At the time, the Civil Law Division consisted of eight sections staffed with over 800 attorneys and paralegals. The Civil Division is the largest legal division in the Office of the Attorney General. The Division represents the State, state constitutional officers, and state agencies and departments in all civil litigation, including federal and state court actions and administrative hearings.
During her 12-year career at the Office of the Attorney General, Justice Hoch worked on many high profile and significant legal matters. In recognition of her outstanding work, Justice Hoch received the following awards and certificate of appreciation: Attorney General’s Team Award - Energy Task Force (2003); Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Supervision (2001); Attorney General’s Award for Excellence as a Team - Tobacco Litigation (1999); and Attorney General’s Certificate of Appreciation for representing the State of California in People v. Philip Morris, Inc. et al., Largest Civil Settlement in U.S. History.
In April 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Justice Hoch as Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In this role, Justice Hoch implemented the Governor’s historic workers’ compensation reforms. (Stats. 2004, ch. 34, known as SB 899.) SB 899 enacted comprehensive workers’ compensation reforms that required implementation through extensive regulations. As Administrative Director, Justice Hoch managed the Division of Workers’ Compensation consisting of 24 district offices and over 1,000 employees. Under her leadership, key regulations were developed and adopted to implement the historic reforms within the statutory deadlines.
In October 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Justice Hoch as his Legal Affairs Secretary. In this position, she provided confidential legal advice to the Governor, the Governor’s Senior Staff, and state agencies on significant policy and legal issues. She also developed, implemented, and managed litigation strategy to defend the Governor’s policy decisions in court. Justice Hoch served as the Legal Affairs Secretary until the end of Governor Schwarzenegger’s term on January 2, 2011.