gavel.jpgCalifornia’s judicial watchdog agency will head into the new year with a new member from Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The California Supreme Court appointed Superior Court Judge Erica Yew to the state Commission on Judicial Performance on Dec. 9.

The 11-member commission, headquartered in San Francisco, is an independent state agency that investigates complaints of misconduct or incapacity of state judges and imposes punishments.

Possible disciplinary actions range from private admonition to public admonition, censure, or removing a judge from the bench.

Yew, 50, was appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court by Gov. Gray Davis in 2001. She was previously in private practice.

She has been a member of the Judicial Council, the governing body of the state court system, since 2009.

Yew is also the immediate past president of the California Asian-American Judges Association.

She is currently assigned to the court’s Juvenile Dependency Division and presides over the Family Wellness Court, a federally funded project to serve children whose families are struggling with addiction, homelessness, poverty, and other issues.

Yew will fill the commission seat formerly held by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Katherine Feinstein, who resigned in anticipation of becoming presiding judge of the San Francisco court on Jan. 1.

Yew was appointed for the remainder of Feinstein’s term, which ends on Feb. 28, and also for a new four-year term beginning on March 1.

The commission’s 11 members include three judges appointed by the California Supreme Court; two lawyers and two non-attorney public members selected by the governor; two public members named by the speaker of the Assembly, and two public members appointed by the state Senate Committee on Rules.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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