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County Attorney Appointed to Judicial Seat

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Issue 49, Volume 17.
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RIVERSIDE - An administrative attorney and former juvenile defense lawyer was appointed to a Riverside County Superior Court judgeship, it was announced today.

Sunshine S. Sykes, 39, of Riverside was selected to serve on the bench by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The appointment is effective immediately, but court officials could not confirm the date when Sykes will assume her duties or what courthouse at which she will work.

She is a member of the Navajo Nation and believed to be the first native American to serve as a judge, according to the Superior Court Executive Office.

Sykes has served as a deputy county counsel for the last eight years. The Office of County Counsel is responsible for vetting documents, writing ordinances and providing legal advice to county agencies, as well as representing the county in legal actions.

Between 2003 and 2005, Sykes worked under contract with the county as a defense attorney for juvenile offenders, according to the governor's office. The Stanford Law School graduate also was a staff attorney for the nonprofit public interest law organization Equal Justice Works and for the nonprofit California Indian Legal Services.

Sykes, a Democrat, will fill the seat left open following the December 2012 retirement of Judge Randall White.

Her annual pay will be $181,292, according to the governor's office.



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