Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Nevada City attorney Linda J. Sloven to a judgeship in the Nevada County Superior Court, nearly six months after Judge Julie McManus officially retired from the bench.
McManus had been on medical leave since March 2011.
“We got the call this morning,” presiding Judge Tom Anderson said Thursday. “We’re really pleased the governor appointed someone to fill the empty seat, and I’m sure she will be a great fit. She’s a highly regarded attorney and an active community member.
“I expect her to be an excellent judge and I’m looking forward to working with her.”
Sloven said she is honored and humbled to have been selected, adding, “I’m kind of speechless.”
Sloven, 58, was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the Golden Gate University School of Law.
She is a member of various federal district courts and state courts of appeal and has served as a board member in various legal and community organizations, including the National Lawyers Guild, Nevada County Bar Association, Nevada County Citizens for Choice and Nevada City Schools Foundation.
Sloven had her own practice in San Francisco for about six years before she moved to Nevada County a little more than 12 years ago, she said.
She has been representing plaintiffs in employment matters and nursing home neglect and abuse cases, mostly in Placer County. She also has maintained professional contacts in the Bay Area, working as counsel to a firm in San Francisco.
“I moved not knowing a single soul here,” Sloven said. “It was a big leap of faith … My then-husband and I had two children who were 6 and 9 at the time, and we wanted to raise them in a small community with good public schools. We wanted a slower way of life.”
And the past 12 1/2 years have been “fabulous,” she said.
“It actually turned out to be a perfect place to raise children,” Sloven said. “I would never have dreamed it would be as good as it’s been. I love the people here.”
An empty nest is looming for Sloven, as her youngest starts college next fall — so a judgeship will prove a challenging new chapter in her life.
“I was encouraged repeatedly by one of the judges,” Sloven said of her decision to submit an application for the position.
“It wasn’t anything I had thought about before, but I took stock of my life … It seemed like a good challenge and a way to give back to the community, particularly the community that I love so much.”
Sloven said her own experiences in the courtroom have given her a clear idea of what behavior to model.
“The judges I’ve been in front of that I felt to be the best are those who are polite and respectful, who are not arrogant, who give everybody a chance to be heard,” she said.
Sloven’s appointment fills the vacancy created by McManus, who officially retired from the bench in July. McManus was appointed to the Superior Court in December 2005 and ran unopposed in June 2008. She had been on medical leave since March 3, 2011, and filed for disability retirement Dec. 15, 2011.
The annual compensation for this position is $178,789.
Anderson said he was not sure yet when Sloven would be sworn in, adding that he hopes to have her sitting on the bench as soon as possible. It has not yet been decided as to which department she will be assigned, he said.
“She’s going to have a lot on her plate,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4229.