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New judge named

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday the appointment of Sonora attorney Kate Powell Segerstrom to the Tuolumne County Superior Court bench.

Segerstrom, 58, has been an attorney in private practice since 2000. She will replace Judge Eric L. Du Temple, who retired in December 2012.

 Segerstrom will be sworn in at noon on Dec. 20 in Dept. 1 of the Tuolumne County Superior Court. She is unsure which department she will be assigned to, but may start out hearing civil cases.

“I’m very excited about it,” she said Thursday of her appointment.

“After 29 years in courtrooms, I’m very excited to experience being a judge in the mold of all of our other judges — all of whom I admire greatly and look forward to working with.”

Segerstrom, a Democrat, applied for the judge position in May and underwent a series of interviews.

Segerstrom is related through marriage to another Tuolumne County Superior Court judge.

Judge Donald Segerstrom, a former Tuolumne County District Attorney appointed by Brown to the bench last year, is the cousin of her husband, Charles Segerstrom.

This presents no possible conflict, she said.

Kate Segerstrom has been in private practice since 2000, focusing primarily on civil law.

Prior to that, she held multiple positions at Steinheimer, Riggio, Haydel, Mordaunt and Kelly, a law firm based in Stockton. She worked with the firm from 1984 to 2000. She was a law clerk, associate and, later, a shareholder.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1977.

She graduated in 1985 from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and passed the bar exam later that year. 

Segerstrom is a board member for Mother Lode Bank and Sonora Regional Medical Center, and serves on the Sonora Business Council. She is a former longtime Sonora High School District board member.

She is also a Rotary Club member and is involved in numerous other area organizations.

She will have to resign membership from “most if not all” to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Kate and Charles Segerstrom have two adult sons and one grandchild, with another on the way.

Their grandchildren represent seven generations of the Segerstrom family living in Tuolumne County.

Kate Segerstrom herself grew up in Southern California.

Her salary as a judge will be $181,292.

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