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Vacant Fresno Judge Seat to be Filled by Newsom ‘Soon,’ says Insider

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Gov. Newsom's judicial appointments secretary, Luis Cespedes, delivered a keynote speech in Fresno on Thursday. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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A vacant seat on the Fresno County Superior Court bench could be filled “soon,” a high-level official said.

Luis Cespedes is Gov. Gavin Newsom’s judicial appointments secretary. He delivered the keynote address in Fresno on Thursday night to at an event celebrating the launch of three ethnic bar associations.

Cespedes talked about groundbreakers in the California legal profession, and the need and value of diversity.

Speaking briefly with GV Wire, Cespedes would not divulge who might replace retired Fresno County Judge Rosemary McGuire, who left the bench last month. He would not say how soon is “soon.”

When a judge leaves during the middle of a term, the vacancy is filled by an appointment from the governor. There could be two more openings in the next few months, several sources told GV Wire, although the names could not be confirmed.

Generally, a judge considers retirement after 20 years of service. In Fresno County, Timothy Kams (appointed in 1998), Greg Fain (1998), Gary Orozco (2001), Jon Kapetan (2003), and John Vogt (2003) are all at the 20-year mark or beyond.

Several sources said Kapetan is the next to hang up the robe.

Sources say Judge Jon Kapetan is set to retire soon. (GV Wire File)

New Bar Associations Form

The Black Lawyers Association of Central California, Central Valley PrideLaw Association and the South Asian Bar Associate of Central California met at Rosé in downtown Fresno to celebrate their new groups.

State Supreme Court Justice Martin Jenkins had to settle for a Zoom appearance — inclement weather kept him in Sacramento.

Several local and federal judges attended the event. One federal judge had to leave the event early. Duty called — the judge had to head back to the office for an after-hours warrant.

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