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This week Richard and Joe welcomed Justice Patricia Benke, Associate Justice of the 4h District Court of Appeals.
Justice Benke has had a distinguished legal career as a former deputy attorney general for the state of California and superior court trial judge. Governor George Deukmejian appointed Patricia Benke to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One in May of 1987. The Clerk of the Court confirms that at the time of her appointment, Justice Benke had the distinction of being the youngest person ever appointed to any Court of Appeal in California. She was the first woman appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One.
Patricia Benke is also an author, writing the popular Judith Thornton Series of books. Her latest, “Qudeen the Magnificent,” is a collection of twelve compelling stories of young girls who — like Benke — come from Syrian immigrant families and are in conflict with their Arabic culture and the world around them.
Patricia Benke was born and spent her early childhood in Pennsylvania; moving with her family to Southern California in the late 1950s. Justice Benke received her law degree from The University of San Diego School of Law where she served as the managing editor of the San Diego Law Review. She was admitted to practice before the California Bar, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2007, Justice Benke received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of San Diego School of Law. She was the first recipient of the Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. Award for Judicial Excellence for “Distinguished Service to Justice and Commitment to Diversity and Community Service” presented by the Earl Gilliam Bar Association.