Samuel J. Dalesandro Jr. is the newest Fresno County Superior Court judge.

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him to the bench Monday to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donald Black.

Dalesandro, 43, has served as a Fresno County Superior Court commissioner since 2017.

Newsom also appointed three Stockton residents as San Joaquin County judges Monday: Blanca A. Bañuelos, Lance G. Jacot, and Jayne C. Lee.

Dalesandro Previously a Senior Deputy DA

The Santa Clara University School of Law graduate brings a varied background to his new duties. He previously worked for private firms and as a prosecutor.

Portrait of retired judge Donald Black

Judge Donald Black, who retired in July, is now a mediator, arbitrator, and special discovery master 

From 2008 through 2017, Dalesandro was a senior deputy district attorney at the Fresno County DA’s Office. He also was an assistant DA for Santa Cruz County in 2006-08.

Dalesandro is married to Fresno County Superior Court Judge Heather Mardel Jones. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her on Jan. 2 of this year. She replaced retiring Judge James Petrucelli.

The judgeship pays $213,833 a year.

About Judge Black

Black was appointed to the Fresno County Superior Court by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1998. Black was a founding member of Fresno’s direct calendar unlimited civil division, which began in 2003, and served as a judge in that assignment until his July retirement.

For five months in 2017, Black sat as a pro tem judge on the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno.

After leaving the bench, Black became an arbitrator, mediator, and special discovery master.


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