Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed three attorneys, all Democrats, to vacant judgeships on the Alameda County Superior Court bench.
Scott Patton, 51, of Piedmont, has served as a deputy district attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office since 1990.
Patton earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
As a prosecutor, Patton's most high-profile case was handling a lengthy preliminary hearing in which former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and several colleagues were accused of kidnapping and torturing two women in Oakland in May 2007 in an effort to get money from them to help ease the bakery's financial woes.
In recent years Patton has worked in the district attorney's consumer fraud unit.
Patton fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Beverly Daniels-Greenberg.
Stephen Kaus, 64, of Berkeley, has worked at the law firm Cooper, White and Cooper, which has offices in San Francisco and Walnut Creek, since 1993 and has been a partner at the firm since 1995.
Kaus is the son of former California Supreme Court Justice Otto Kaus, who was appointed to the high court in 1981 by Brown during Brown's previous tenure as governor. Otto Kaus retired from the court in 1985 and died in 1996.
Stephen Kaus was a solo practitioner from 1990 to 1993 and a partner at Kaus, Kerr and Wagstaffe from 1982 to 1990. He also was a deputy public defender at the Contra Costa County Public Defender's Office from 1974 to 1980.
Kaus earned a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of California Los Angeles.
He fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on February 9, 2012.
Gregory Syren, 53, of Kensington, has served as an assistant public defender in the Alameda County Public Defender's Office since 1987. He also served as a deputy public defender at the Solano County Public Defender's Office in 1987 and as a deputy public defender at the Napa County Public Defender's Office from 1986 to 1987.
Syren earned a law degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Berkeley.
One of Syren's most high-profile cases was representing Christopher Hollis, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of his friend Meleia Willis-Starbuck in Berkeley on July 17, 2005.
Hollis claimed her death was an accident when he fired multiple shots into a crowd of people after Willis-Starbuck asked him for help when she and some friends got into a street confrontation with a group of UC Berkeley football players.
Syren fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers following her appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The compensation for each position is $178,789.
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