Governor Taps Jose Castillo '06, Esmeralda Zendejas '06 for New Judicial Roles

Gov. Gavin Newsom has nominated Judge Jose Castillo ’06 to serve as an associate justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One.

Castillo has been a San Diego Superior Court judge since 2020. Before that, he was an assistant U.S. attorney, and a staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A former Marine, Castillo also has served on the King Hall Alumni Association Board of Directors. His nomination requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

Newsom has appointed Castillo’s King Hall classmate, Esmeralda Zendejas ’06, as a San Joaquin Superior Court judge. An attorney at the Department of Industrial Relations, Zendejas served as a deputy attorney general at the state Department of Justice from 2020-22. Zendejas worked for several years for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., including as the organization’s agricultural worker program director.

Read Newsom’s news release on these and other recent judicial appointments.

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