California Supreme Court Appoints State Bar Court Judges

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Contact: <a href="">Cathal Conneely</a>, 415-865-7740

September 10, 2014

California Supreme Court Appoints State Bar Court Judges

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SAN FRANCISCO—The California Supreme Court today announced the appointment of Judges Catherine D. Purcell and Richard A. Honn to the positions of State Bar Court Presiding Judge and Review Judge, respectively.

Judge Purcell’s term commenced on September 9, 2014, the date on which she took her oath of office, and extends to October 31, 2018. Judge Honn’s term will commence as soon as he takes his oath of office and extends to October 31, 2020.

Judge Purcell was first appointed by the Supreme Court to the State Bar Court as a review judge in 2008. Before her appointment, she served as a Kern County Superior Court Judge, and presided over criminal, civil and family law cases since 2001. She also served the court as supervising judge of its East Division, and was active in continuing judicial education as faculty for ethics training for court personnel and attorneys who serve as pro tem judges. Before her judicial career, Judge Purcell clerked for Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas of the California Supreme Court, practiced civil law in Southern California, and prosecuted criminal cases as a deputy district attorney in Kern County. Judge Purcell received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Pepperdine Law School in 1985, and her honors degree in Nursing from California Lutheran College in 1980—she is a Registered Nurse and a Public Health Nurse.

Judge Honn was first appointed by the Supreme Court to the State Bar Court as a hearing judge in 2003 and reappointed for a six-year term in 2004 and again in 2010. Before his appointment, he was in private practice, handling business and real estate transactions and litigation. From 1980 until his appointment to the bench, he was a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Judge Honn also served as Chair of a number of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's committees, including Volunteers in Parole, Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Ad Hoc Committee on Private Judging; and as a member of the Committee on Legal Services to the Poor. Judge Honn graduated magna cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara, received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School.

Acting Presiding Judge Judith A. Epstein has returned to her role as a review judge.

The procedure for appointments to the State Bar Court and for the Applicant Evaluation and Nomination Committee, which assists the court and the other appointing authorities in making appointments, are governed by Rule 9.11 of the California Rules of Court.

For more information on the State Bar Court, see