Maurice Sanchez, Associate Justice

Cynthia Aaron, Associate Justice

On November 10, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom nominated Maurice Sanchez to serve as an Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three.  Justice Sanchez was rated “exceptionally well qualified” for the position by the Commission of the California State Bar on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.  He was confirmed by unanimous vote of the Commission on Judicial Appointments on January 6, 2022.  Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal, Justice Sanchez served on the Family Law Panel of the Superior Court of Orange County.  He was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown on October 27, 2018. 

Justice Sanchez was born in Orange, California, the fourth child of Mexican immigrants.  Spanish was his first language.  Justice Sanchez graduated from Mater Dei High School in 1974.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1978 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981.  While in law school, he was an extern for Justice Mathew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court and co-director of the McBaine Honors Moot Court Board.

Justice Sanchez began his legal career with Rutan & Tucker after being sworn-in as an attorney on December 1, 1981.  He later worked as in-house counsel for Hyundai Motor America and Mazda Motor of America, Inc.  He returned to private practice with a firm that later became known as Alvarado, Smith & Sanchez.  He subsequently became an equity partner with two AmLaw100 law firms; Baker & Hostetler (where he was named National Leader of the Distribution and Franchise Team) and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (where he helped start their Los Angeles Office). 

Justice Sanchez has served on numerous charitable and professional boards, including president of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, chairman of Olive Crest (which provides services for abused children in Orange County and the western United States), the UCI School of Social Ecology Dean’s Advisory Board, and the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund.  He has served as an assistant coach for the Mater Dei High School Mock Trial team and has served as a mentor in the Orange County Superior Court’s judicial extern program.  He has also been active with various other community organizations promoting education.

Justice Sanchez has been married to his high school sweetheart since 1980.  He and his wife, Teri, have three adult children and one grandchild.