MARTINEZ -- Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that he's appointed three East Bay attorneys to judgeships in the Contra Costa and Alameda County superior courts.

Veteran Contra Costa County prosecutor John Cope, 50, of Benicia, has been appointed to the Contra Costa County bench to fill the vacancy created by Judge Joyce Cram's retirement earlier this year.

Cope, who graduated from the law school at Brigham Young University, joined the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office in 1991 and currently runs the office's Richmond branch. He served as prosecutor on many of Contra Costa County's most serious and sensational cases, including the Richmond High School gang rape that has so far led to the convictions of four young men who participated in the 2009 campus assault. Cope also prosecuted Concord's "Trailside Killer," Robert Ward Frazier, who was sentenced to death in 2006 for raping and murdering Kathleen Aiello-Loreck on the Contra Costa Canal Trail.

Contra Costa County Senior Deputy District Attorney John Cope speaks to the media during a recess in a sentencing hearing in the case of the 2009 Richmond
Contra Costa County Senior Deputy District Attorney John Cope speaks to the media during a recess in a sentencing hearing in the case of the 2009 Richmond High School gang rape on Aug. 15, 2013 at Wakefield Taylor Superior Courthouse in Martinez. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff file)

Alameda County Superior Court's newest judges will be Alameda County prosecutor Ursula Jones Dickson and Morrison and Foerster partner Alison Tucher.

Dickson, 45, of Oakland, joined the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in 1999 after receiving her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is filling the vacancy created when Judge Paul Seeman resigned early this year over an elder-abuse scandal that led to him pleading no contest to felony charges.

Tucher, 51, of Berkeley, is a partner at Morrison and Foerster's intellectual property group and teaches trade-secret law classes at her alma mater, Stanford Law School. She has been a litigator for the large firm since 1998, and before that worked for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joseph Hurley.¿


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None of the appointees could be reached for comment Friday. They will be paid $181,292 annually as judges. Cope is registered Republican, and Dickson and Tucher are Democrats, according to the governor's office.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.