Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
New Fresno County Judge's Reaction: I Cried
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 years ago on
November 11, 2021

Share

Irene Luna had a secret to keep. On Monday night, she received a phone call telling her she was going to become a judge in the Fresno County Superior Court.

“My heart started beating (fast). I did cry because it was shocking and, you know, a lot to process. I’m still processing it,” Luna said.

She and her husband Louis had to wait until Wednesday when the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom made the official announcement.

“We couldn’t tell anyone … it’s been hard to keep it a secret. and we’re happy that we can celebrate,” Luna said.

Luna, 41, was born and raised in Fresno, attending Bullard High School and the San Joaquin College of Law.

“I started thinking about being a judge, mainly because a few judges kind of approached me to ask me if I thought about it, and thought I would make a good judge. So yeah, that’s how I got here,” Luna said.

She will fill the vacancy caused by the 2020 retirement of Judge W. Kent Hamlin. Judges are elected positions, but vacancies are appointed by the governor. Luna will have to run in 2024 to fill the remainder of the six-year term, and run again in 2028.

Luna’s start date is to be determined. The presiding judge will assign her to a particular courtroom and “beat” (such as traffic or family law).

Practiced Law With Her Father

Her father, the late Frank Ramirez, also practiced law.

“I knew early on that I wanted to practice law. I spent about half my career in civil practice working with him,” Luna said.

She started her legal career in 2007,  but found civil litigation not to her liking.

“I intended to practice civil with my dad. That was my plan to just work with him forever. But at about five years into my civil career, I hadn’t had a jury trial. And at the time, the public defender’s office in Fresno was having extra help positions,” Luna said.

She took the position in Fresno County and stayed there nine months.

“I just kind of fell in love with criminal law and working with the clients,” Luna said.

The opportunity allowed her to defend cases in six jury trials.

“I went back to practice with my dad and I really missed being in the courtroom. So I love being in the courtroom … civil practice, you kind of stay at your desk most of the time and you’re not in court as often,” Luna said.

In 2014, Luna returned to public defense, working at Fitzgerald, Ciummo & Associates APC. They contract out to provide attorneys for defendants in Fresno County and San Benito County.

Moving Back to Fresno

Luna currently lives in Monterey with her husband. They plan to move back to Fresno.

“All my ties are to Fresno, so it’s comforting to go home,” Luna said.

However, judges do not have to live in the county they serve.

A Judicial Council spokesman explained, “Article VI, section 15 of the California Constitution states: A person is ineligible to be a judge of a court of record unless for 10 years immediately preceding selection, the person has been a member of the State Bar or served as a judge of a court of record in this State.”

There is no mention in the state constitution regarding local residency.

Luna, a Democrat, will earn a yearly salary of $223,829.

[activecampaign form=15]

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

DON'T MISS

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

DON'T MISS

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

DON'T MISS

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

DON'T MISS

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

DON'T MISS

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

DON'T MISS

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

DON'T MISS

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

DON'T MISS

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

DON'T MISS

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

UP NEXT

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

UP NEXT

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

UP NEXT

Fresno County Fruit Trail: Rewards You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

UP NEXT

Rising Stars Tigirlily Gold Wows the Crowd at 93.7 KISS Country Concert

UP NEXT

Plan Your Weekend With This Fresno Memorial Day Events List

UP NEXT

Snow is the Resilient Maltipoo Who Is Ready for Her Forever Home

UP NEXT

Fresno Man Charged with Throwing Meth into Mendota Prison Yard

UP NEXT

Porchfest Victims Use Fresno Council Meeting to Demand That DA File Hate Crime Charges

UP NEXT

American Airlines Retreats After Blaming a 9-Year-Old for Not Seeing a Hidden Camera in a Lavatory

UP NEXT

This Sweet Tradition Is Sure to Bring Out the Crowds at Fresno State’s Farm Market

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

1 day ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

1 day ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

1 day ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

1 day ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

1 day ago

UCLA Police Arrest Young Man for Alleged Felony Assault in Attack on Pro-Palestinian Encampment

1 day ago

UAW Files Objection to Mercedes Vote, Accuses Company of Intimidating Workers

1 day ago

Fresno County Fruit Trail: Rewards You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

1 day ago

Rising Stars Tigirlily Gold Wows the Crowd at 93.7 KISS Country Concert

1 day ago

Get Ready for the Indy 500 With This Look at Parnelli Jones, JC Agajanian & the Willard Battery Special

1 day ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

The California Senate has unanimously passed SB 1432, a bill introduced by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) to provide a transparent and accou...

17 hours ago

17 hours ago

CA Senate Passes Hospital Seismic Compliance Bill: What’s the Impact on Local Hospitals?

19 hours ago

Take This Memorial Day Quiz Before Warming up the Grill

19 hours ago

Hate Wasting Money? Use These 7 Hacks to Feed Your Family for Less

1 day ago

NCAA and Leagues Back $2.8 Billion Settlement, Setting Stage for Current, Former Athletes to Be Paid

1 day ago

UC Berkeley Faces a Summer of Discontent as Gaza Protesters Remain Steadfast

1 day ago

Newsom Promised 1,200 Tiny Homes for Homeless Californians. How Many Are Being Used?

1 day ago

Fresno Unified Unveils 5-Year Literacy Plan. What Are the Expectations?

1 day ago

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Bomb-Making to Person Targeting Authorities

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend