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San Diego appellate court Justice Haller to retire

Longtime 4th District Court of Appeal Associate Justice Judith Haller announced on Monday that she is retiring after 28 years on the San Diego-based court.

Her final day will be Oct. 31, according to a news release from the state Judicial Council.

She has been on the court of appeal since being appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1994. Before that she was a San Diego Superior Court judge for five years, appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian.

In addition to her work on the court, Haller has worked as a special master for the Commission on Judicial Performance presiding over disciplinary hearings for other judges in the state. She has also served on a Judicial Council commission on the future of state courts from 2014 to 2017, and is also now serving as a member of a Supreme Court committee on judicial ethics opinions.

Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell said in a statement that Haller is highly regarded for her expertise in judicial and legal ethics. “Her retirement is well deserved after a long career as an attorney, trial court judge and appellate justice and she will be deeply missed,” McConnell said.

Haller graduated from UCLA and earned a law degree at California Western School of Law. She worked as a deputy district attorney for the San Diego County District Attorney‘s Office for three years and then was a lawyer at the San Diego firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack for 10 years where she was a partner before getting appointed to the Superior Court.

Haller’s retirement comes at a time when the court is undergoing change. A year ago former Associate Justice Patricia Benke retired after a 34-year career.

In May Associate Justice Martin Buchanan was confirmed to replace her on the court.

And in March Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero to a seat on the state Supreme Court. Five days ago the governor nominated her to be the next chief justice of the state’s highest court. A hearing on the nomination in front of the Commission on Judicial Appointments is set for Aug. 26.

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