Riverside County Superior Court Appoints Its First Female Korean American Judge


Susanne Cho, 48, became Riverside County Superior Court’s first female Korean American judge after her appointment was announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to the Press Enterprise.

With her new appointment, Cho fills the vacant seat created by the retirement of Judge David B. Downing. According to the governor’s office, Cho, a Democrat, has been an attorney at the law offices of Rodney Lee in Palm Desert since 2004. Prior to joining the desert firm, she served as a deputy public defender at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office for 10 years.

She earned her law degree from UC Hastings College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA.

According to the Press Enterprise, Cho’s appointment is part of Brown’s ongoing efforts to diversify the county’s superior court bench. Brown appointed Sunshine Skyes as the county’s first Native American judge in 2013, and in 2011, appointed Raquel Marquez as the county’s first Latina judge.

On Wednesday, Brown also appointed James Latting, 65, to fill the seat of former Judge Gary Tranbarger. Latting, also a Democrat, has been of counsel at Roemer and Harnik of Indian Wells since 2002 and worked at various private firms over the years. He earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University.

Both Cho and Latting will earn 184,610 annually.

Photo courtesy of State of California